METALLURGY, M.R. BELGIORNO  
Regarding the presence of mineral resources, it is important to note that large formations of pillow lava are distributed on the western borders of Pyrgos territory. Meanwhile the southern slopes of Mavrorachi show large layers of malachite and chrisocolla. A tunnel entrance to an old mine chalcopyrite is still visible in the river bed Pyrgos, 600 metres from the site. The mine was discovered accidentally in 1990, when the municipality of Pyrgos decided to drill a new artesian well on the bench of the river, at Dimmata. Footprints left by rounded stone hammers on the walls of the tunnel suggest that the instruments used were not as modern. So it is likely that the mine goes back a few thousand years. But none exploration has been done to find diagnostic material and take a history of the tunnel. Straight to the inland river source of Pyrgos, 5km away, there is an abandoned mining village in the locality Mazokampos. The inhabitants, as employees of mining company “Hephaestus”, exploited copper and precious metals from surrounding outcrops up to 50 years ago.  
Moreover, on page 95 of 1st Bulletin, published by the Geological Survey Department of Cyprus in 1963 (The Mineral Resources mining industry and Cyprus), there is a description of the mineral occurrences of Pyrgos territory reported at the number 70 of the Map: “The most promising mineralization in the Pyrgos area lies in Basal Group rocks, immediately to the north and northeast of the village. Discontinuous screens of pillow lava of varying widths (from two feet to 30 feet) have formed iron-stained zones through the oxidation of their disseminated pyrite content, but the proportion of pillow lava to dyke material is low. The gossans pinch and swell, generally striking northeast to east with very steep almost vertical dips. Some gossans and iron-stained caps are aligned along fault planes, many of which lie within the pillow lava screens. These oxidised zones are considered to be the channels up which the mineralising fluids passed on their way upwards towards the Lower and Upper Pillow Lavas, which have since been removed by erosion. Malachite and Azurite staining is not uncommon, but jarosite, silica and gypsum were not observed. Some of the gossans have been superficially explored by means of shallow pits and trenches, but without giving particularly encouraging results. A sample from Ambeli averaged 8.0 per cent sulphur, 22.0 per cent iron and 0.3 per cent copper, and specimens of leached material from gossans assayed 0.40 dwts gold per ton and 2.0 dwts silver per ton.” In turn, the results of a geophysical survey carried out in 1957 by Hephaestus Mining Company Limited, a subsidiary of Cybarco, gave disappointing results.  
It should also be considered that the same branch North West of Pyrgos river that flows for 700 meters in the centre of prehistoric settlement, crossed the Ambeli area bordering the Mavroraki hill west. Along all these 700 meters, and on both sides of the river, you can find lumps of copper slag and fragments of Early and Middle Bronze Age pottery, scattered on the surface. Taking into account the fact that the lump-slag shape is peculiar of primitive Chypriote technology for smelting copper, it's hard not to relate to the ore bodies Ambeli and Mavroraki, to the evidence of prehistoric copper production at Pyrgos. Unfortunately, the intensity of constructions, surrounding Pyrgos, make impossible any attempt to take proof of the Early-Middle Bronze Age industrial organization of the site, which could become a standard of comparison in the history of technology and evolution of prehistoric society.  
Nevertheless, north-east of the village of Pyrgos, in the territory of Monagroulli (n. 69 on the map), 5 km away, there is another interesting minerals area: “rather different from that usually found in the pillow lavas: The rocks consist predominantly of micro diorite and microgabbro dikes of the Diabase….Sporadic indications of copper mineralization are widespread … generally in the form of blue and green stains of malachite and azurite. In some shatter zones, however , angular fragments of diabase are cemented with chalcocite as well as with azurite and malachite. Native copper and cuprite have also been reported from this locality”…. At Papayiannena, 1 mile west of the village.. the gossans has developed at the faulted contact of the Upper and Lower Pillow Lavas.  Samples from the mineralized zone at Papayiannena were assayed for precious metals and averaged 0.1dwts per ton gold and 4.3-5.9 dwts per ton silver”.  
Some lumps of copper minerals, especially carbonates as malachite and azurite are scattered throughout the hill Mavroraki. Their presence confirms that the area was rich in minerals copper and had an important role to start the metallurgical development of the site. Moreover, it is likely that the copper carbonate surface outcrops exausted soon, and people extended in neighbouring territory, to find new minerals.  
The detailed panorama of copper Cypriote repertoire presented by JW Balthazar (Balthazar 1990) compendium is in agreement for the beginning of Cypriote metallurgy with the facies of Philia around 2500-2350 BC, and underlines the rapid development and dissemination of copper metallurgy between Early and Middle Bronze Age. This is confirmed by hundreds of bronzes found in the tombs of the period. Otherwise, not taking into account the amount of bronzes, little evidence of metallurgical activities have been found in Early-Middle Bronze Age settlements dug in Cyprus. Few pieces of slag from Kalopsida (Famagusta), unstratified pieces of ores, slag and crucibles from Alambra (Nicosia), a mould stone axe from Markì. In addition, metallurgical industrial sites have specific characteristics: specific accessories and the sum of evidence left by the treatment of metals which have not been found in sites above mentioned.  
The amount of material on metallurgical sites can give an estimate of their importance in terms of time, the number of people employed, local use and trade in objects and metal products. In short, 5 different categories should be present to identify a site as “metallurgical industrial site”: 1) The proximity of the mineral surfaces (placers and modern mines) and water. 2)The presence on the surface of a large number of pieces of minerals (natural, half roast, roast and slagged) and slag of all sizes from various stages of processing copper. 3)The remains of structures for the process of copper, as furnaces, furnaces, bellows, forges, benches, clusters to protect people from fire and water channels. 4)The presence of a large amount of querns, mills, tools and stone pestles to crash mineral and slag to recover copper, and the presence of specific types such as ceramic bowls, big tanks, large vases and pitchers normally distributed around the ovens. 5)The presence of structures and materials for melting and refining objects as crucibles, moulds, anvils, hammers and special stone tools shaped basalt for polishing objects.  
At Pyrgos we found abundant evidence of all these categories, after which we can identify its industrial site as one of the most complete, metallurgical prehistoric site ever found. In addition we have evidence of various fuels used during processing of copper. The analyses carried out on soil samples taken inside the carbonised ovens testify that olive oil has been widely used as fuel during the smelting, melting and casting. This suggests that the wood has probably been used only for starting and heath ovens, but the final rush temperature has been achieved using olive oil. As mentioned above, olive oil is the main ingredient of all Pyrgos industries and the 25 jars found strategically placed near the ovens, in the room for textiles and near the factory of perfumes, confirm the value that this special product had for Pyrgos. In 2005, the Centre for Archaeology Experimental Antiquitates of Blera has played the complete copper line processing, making a replica of Pyrgos ovens, smelting minerals found around Mavrorachi we had proves of three important things: 1) The smelted copper minerals came from local outcrops (malachite and chrisocolla). 2) Most of slag come from the first smelting and still contains many prills of copper and pieces of ores not completely melted. The composition of this last match with the pieces of ore scattered everywhere on the surface. 3) It needs 5 litres of olive oil to reach the right temperature to smelt malachite or melt bronze.  
The comparative metallurgical analyses have been made using optical microscope observation, Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence (ED.XRF), X- Diffraction (XRD) and Ignate Coupoled Plasma (ICP) (Spectrometer Perkin Elmer mod. 40; British Chemical Standard n. 381 - Inorganic Ventures, Inc. iso 9001 Lakewood, NJ 08701).  
The main spaces involved in the copper processing were the two courtyards positioned North and South of the Olive press room.  
The northern courtyard, is an area of 15 to 15 meters or so, borders on the north the wall of the olive press. Its northern side is not fully excavated, neither the north perimeter wall. But some old structures were reused as benches to separate the distinctive workplaces, which were used for all metallurgical activities. The structures for the processing of metals consist mainly of roasting beds, ovens pit on the floor and on benches, and remains hole systems for the management of bellows. In addition, a number of stone tools, for the minerals powdering and for crashing roast minerals, confirms the metallurgical destination of the place. Moreover, the distribution of facilities and the type of stone tools suggests that the area was used mainly for the first processing of minerals.  
The southern courtyard, which borders on the south wall of the olive press, it was fully equipped for the casting of copper and refining operations. The industrial activity is demonstrated by the enormous amount of stone tools for working metal, smelting 'hotspots', multi-level smelting pits, bowl furnaces and large quantities of slag (Fig.9) 
In total we have more than 600 square metres occupied by benches, furnaces, pipelines for the bellows, stone implements and tools for working copper.  
However, given the data evidence, and, in particular regarding the number and distribution of working places, plus the amount of implements, we have evidence of a rare wide organization for the production of copper.  
The first step to get the metal from ore was the enrichment of minerals. It consisted of crushing minerals in order to facilitate the selection of the best pieces, which were powder before the smelting procedure. Andesite querns numerous and heavy pestles for this operation were found in the courtyard of the North against the Central bench. Try experimental let us know that 1 minute of work is sufficient to reduce small particles of a rock of malachite of 3 kilos. After reduction, it was easy to choose the richest copper pieces, recognizable by the green colour. The selection of the best pieces was important, as the percentage of metal obtained is proportional to the purity of the ore smelted. The ovens found in the courtyard of the North are of three types. 1) A large (1.80x about 1.80 meters) squared low depth (25 cm) cavity, carved on the floor and surrounded by 2 joined lines of small stones. 2) A cylindrical furnace (1 meter in diameter at the base within 45 cm), built with stones arranged in overlapping circles, open on one side and plastered inside. 3) A pit oven (dm 30 cm inside) calcarenite made of earth, plaster and tiny stones. These ovens are, respectively, attributed to the first roasting and primary copper smelting, in archaeo-metallurgy literature.  
In southern courtyard, the situation is very different and the evidence suggests that the activities were simultaneously refining and casting of copper items. The area was organized in a particular way: a lot of calcarenite soil was added to the center of the room and a large, low bench, built against the northern wall. This bench, built using small stones and plaster, covers two-thirds of the wall that divides the courtyard from the olive-press. Faced with this bench there is a battery of small furnaces (shaft kilns), organized within the calcarenite heap. Each oven has been found covered with a flat stone. The internal diameter of these furnaces does not exceed twenty centimeters up to a depth of about thirty centimeters (Fig.10)  
More pit ovens of the same size are irregularly distributed in the calcarenite soil and covered ground to the top by a large stone slab positioned up to the top opening. Small jugs, without the base, placed upside down with their mouth pointing inside the furnace were found on two occasions embedded in the structure of the oven. Each furnace shows three or four imprints of pipe opened on the walls for ventilation. The bellows were sometimes placed three metres away and connected by tubes of reeds covered by calcarenite soil. The total pit ovens found in this area is 18. The total of stone tools (mainly axes, and querns, pestles, hammers, rubbing stones, and anvils) found around the furnace and on the bench, are 112.  
Two intact clay moulds for axes (Fig.12; L.23cms ) were found in two different furnaces, in front of the main bench (Fig.11).  
A swage andesite anvil to model swords with its hammer was found near a sort of forge on Eastern corner. A number of pieces of moulds, crucibles and slag were found scattered everywhere.  
A coppersmith workshops (room No. 2), recognized by tools for metalworking and the remains of smiting activity has been found on the eastern side of the olive press. The floor was covered by twenty centimeters of ash, slag and roastes minerals including some small items of copper. Only three sides foundations were found, as his entire east wall has been taken away by the waters of the stream. The western side has hosted a large-forge furnace built with mud and clay coarse slabs, placed against the wall and bounded by two major calcarenite querns located on the side to form a kind of enclosure. In addition, a large anvil basalt was found behind this fence. In connection to the anvil is a bench, that emerging 50 cm from the wall, can be served as chair for the coppersmith. A large doorway (2.80 meters), opened in western wall, connects this room with the olive press. In front of the door to its northern side, there is a bench, built with reusable material, which supports a number of small overlapping pit furnaces (Fig.13).  
Olive oil used as fuel by the ancient metallurgists is an important question, since it involves many environmental, cultural and social issues. Until now, little attention has been devoted to identification of possible fuel used in prehistoric times, assuming that coal is the fuel used by universal of all coppersmiths. The traditional formula Tylecote CO CuCO3 = 2CO2 Cu, which explains the chemistry of the smelting of copper carbonates using coal, is not a sine qua non condition, and was not the only system known to smelt copper and bronze: just remember the use of bitumen in Sumerian civilizations since 3500 BC. Even today, there are ethno archaeological examples of use of different fuels in the absence of charcoals, as in desert environment. In search for copper remains inside furnaces there may have been a misunderstanding in the interpretation of the remains of wood (possibly carbonised) believed coal preparation in advance. Probably small pieces of dry wood (usually olive trees) were used to start the fire, but the procedure took place, with the addition of a high calorific fuel to reach the melting point. Necessity is the mother of invention, and it is logical that all people have used the most available resources of fuel.  
Regarding Cyprus at the beginning of the second millennium BC, there is evidence from Pyrgos / Mavrorachi suggesting that next to the wood, olive oil rather than coal, was preferred. The special distribution of copper-workplaces around the olive mill, since the start of excavations, suggested there should have been some specific relationship between olive oil and metallurgical activities. In addition, there were very few remains of coal inside and around the ovens. Considering the amount of coal needed to achieve and maintain the melting temperature of copper and the number of pit ovens found, the remains are almost inconsistent. Moreover, the small size and structure of the southern courtyard ovens makes it difficult to fill them with pieces of coal during the smelting procedure. On contrary, it was very easy to fill with olive oil, using a long rod inserted in a small jug, into place upside down. Specific analysis of samples of soil and material burned, taken inside furnaces and ovens, treated with diethyl ether and Phloro-glucina and justified by nitric acid, has denounced the presence and the use of olive oil as a fuel. Olive oil is composed of atoms of carbon, and hydrogen for its 98% (which coincides with the chemical reaction of Tylecote) and the formula proves that it is a fuel, better than crude petroleum and coal, which have a 30-40% of impurities in their composition. 
Olive oil Acid composition
 
 
miristic (C14)
 
CH3-(CH2)12-COOH (s)
palmitic (C16)
10-12
CH3-(CH2)14-COOH (s)
Palmitoleic (C16)
0,5-1,0
CH3-(CH2)5-CH=CH-(CH2)7-COOH (m)
Eptadecanoic (C17)
 
CH3-(CH2)15-COOH (s)
Eptadecenoic (C17)
 
CH3-(CH2)6-CH=CH-(CH2)7-COOH (m)
Stearic (C18)
2-3
CH3-(CH2)16-COOH (s)
Oleic (C18 , 009)
70-80
CH3-(CH2)7-CH=CH-(CH2)7-COOH
Linoleic (C18, 006)
7-10
CH3-(CH2)4-CH=CH-CH2-CH=CH-(CH2)7-COOH (p)
Linolenic
0,3-0,5
CH3-(CH2-CH=CH)3-(CH2)7-COOH (p)
Arachidic (C20)
 
CH3-(CH2)18-COOH (s)
Eicosenoic (C20)
 
CH3-(CH2)9-CH=CH-(CH2)7-COOH (m)
Behenic (C22)
 
CH3-(CH2)20-COOH (s)
lignoceric(C24)
 
CH3-(CH2)22-COOH (s)
To understand how the system worked and calculate the amount of olive oil was necessary for each operation, a sequence of archaeological experiments were carried out at Pyrgos and Italy (Centre for Experimental Archaeology Antiquitates of Blera). The furnaces were rebuilt with the same material, respecting the size and position of the bellows, connected to the furnaces with simple rods covered with mud. In addition, a small jug broken at the base was located at the top of the oven, and used for the drop of olive oil in the furnace using a long reed, which allows the operator to stay away from the fire. Experiments show that the system works perfectly, and, as far as the use of olive oil as a fuel, it is possible that (after starting the fire with small pieces of normal dry wood) olive oil was used to achieve and maintain the temperature at smelt or melt metal. Normally, 5 litres of oil are sufficient for a thirty centimetres dm furnace (at a temperature of 1100 degrees). However, it is possible to reach a temperature of 1300 degrees with seven litres (temperature controlled with thermocouple chromed aluminium).The first laboratory analysis and testing of fusion (made using the waste remains of minerals found around the kilns) gave the following results. 1) The mineral probably coming from Mavrorachi surfaces, such as mineral composition (in terms of percentage of copper, iron, tin, arsenic, zinc, nickel and antimony)is very similar to lumps of chrisocolla and malachite recovered on the slopes of Mavrorachi. 2) The mineral powder smelted to 900 degrees in a crucible of clay produce a slag which includes many prills of copper. 3) The waste smelted, for the second time produces a small amount of copper and a porous matrix rich in copper drops, which were easy to recover from the crushing slag. At the end of the process, you can get from 420 grams to 150 grams of mineral slag and 30 grams of copper. 4) The waste found in the excavations (more than 2000 lumps) has the same composition of minerals, and still contain a high percentage of copper granules. They are hard as the slag obtained after the first smelting in our experiments and melt at low temperature, around 950 degrees. 5) A piece of slag from prehistoric Pyrgos (110 grams) smelt in a crucible is a by-product of 30grams consisting of a soft matrix slag that imprisons spherical drops of copper, similar to the second slag produced by our experiments. This product is very fragile and easy to crush to collect the drops of copper inside. The experiments confirm that all lines of copper processing, starting from the first fusion of minerals until casting of bronze, is present at Pyrgos.   
 
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