The Origin and Development of Metallurgy in the Black Sea Region during the Protohistoric Era
Keywords: Central Black Sea Region, Protohistoric Era, Metallurgy, Anatolia
The project with the aim of shedding light on the origin and development of metallurgy and metal objects in the Central Black Sea Region of Turkey during the Protohistoric Age of Anatolia was carried out in the three years between 1997 and 1999. To fulfil this project excavations took place at Samsun-İkiztepe, surveys were arranged in the Samsun, Sinop, Amasya and Tokat Provinces, and research was done to catalogue the unpublished metal objects and metallurgists' tools at Samsun, Sinop, Amasya, Tokat and Kastamonu Museums in addition to those in the private collections. Excavations were carried out at İkiztepe in 1997, 1998 and 1999, both for unearthing metal objects and metallurgists' tools and locating ovens possibly used in the production of metal objects. However, only 19 metal objects of EBA II and III date were found along with 14 tools in connection with the production of metal objects and a workshop with an oven. Surveys were carried out in four different provinces in the Central Black Sea Region 1997, 1998 and 1999. In the first and second provinces, covering an area on Tavşan Dağ north of Merzifon, a new ancient mine was located at Peynirçay valley near the well-known copper mine at Bakırçay. Peynirçay mine apparently contains arsenic oxides in addition to copper oxides, and also heaps of slags. Surveys were also continued on the İnegöl Dağı near Gümüşhacıköy to locate ancient mines of arsenic, lead or silver in 1998, but no satisfactory results were obtained. Surveys were also carried out in the vicinity of Erbaa-Tokat district in the third province to locate new ancient mines from which gold, silver, lead, copper or arsenic had been obtained, but they yielded no positive results. In the fourth province Sinop-Durağan area was investigated in 1999 and at Çayağzı arsenic mines were located by the Kızılırmak River and on the route from Durağan to Alaçam. Museum studies were carried out with the aim of cataloguing the unpublished metal objects that had entered the museum collections by way of purchase, gift or donations in 1997, 1998 and 1999. A total number of 206 metal objects and 3 tools were studied at the Sinop, Samsun, Kastamonu, Amasya and Tokat Museums. Apart from 5 objects that are made of iron (4) and silver, all were produced with a copper-based alloy of either arsenic or tin. With the newly catalogued 224 metal objects, the total number of metal objects used in the Central Black Sea Region in the Protohistoric Age has risen to 1497 pieces. The general classification and cataloguing in chronological order according to their functions will be completed in the corpus of a book planned for publication in 2001.