Using X-Ray Fluorescence to Examine Ancient Extractive Metallurgy Practices: A Case Study from Iron Age Khirbat al-Jariya, Jordan

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The first industrial revolution to appear in the southern Levant (Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, southern Syria and the Sinai Peninsula) occurred during Iron Age (ca. 1200-500 BCE) when large scale copper smelting occurred. The hub of this technological development occurred in the Faynan region of Southern Jordan, which is home to the largest copper ore deposits in the southern Levant.

X-Ray Fluorescence

Throughout history, these abundant ores were exploited by local populations with copper production reaching an industrial scale in the 10th and 9th centuries BCE. The evidence for this massive production remains visible on the surface throughout Faynan at ancient smelting sites populated with large heaps of industrial copper slag. Khirbat al-Jariya (KAJ), one such copper smelting center, was the focus of renewed excavations by the Edom Lowlands Regional Archaeology Project in the summer of 2014.

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