The Beginnings of Metallurgy in Macedonia ARHEOMET

ARHEOMET is a complex project that deals with the beginnings of the prehistoric metallurgy in Macedonia. Regarding the commonly accepted periodization of prehistory in Macedonia, the first phase of the research spans the period from the Late Neolithic (5,200 BC) until the Late Bronze Age (1,200 BC), while the second phase is focused on the Iron Age as a specific study (10th-6th centuries BC). In order to achieve the goals of the project, laboratory investigations of metal objects dating from various periods are foreseen using analytical methodology. The latter comprises of non-destructive techniques, such as X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), but also micro-destructive techniques, such as inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) and X-ray diffraction.

The results of the physicochemical analyses of metal objects will contribute to a better understanding of the role that the early metallurgy played in the process of establishing complex communities which emerged during the Chalcolithic in the wider region of Southeastern Europe. The archaeological discourses will be focused on a greater comprehension of the social context of early metal producing, as well as the degree of technological specialization in the chain of operations. The organization of the metal artifacts production and the processes related to technological advancement and innovation are also key areas of interest.