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The mystery of the early tin bronzes

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Possibility of Mediterranean overseas trade connections with the Bohemian-Saxon mining centers in the Bronze Age

Between 1980 and approximately 2000 the English mining archaeologist Dr. John E. Dayton (1983, 1990) adverted to himself with various provoking thesis. Based on material analysis on ancient cobalt blue tinted glasses as well as early tin bronzes from the Aegean Sea and Egypt, he believed to have discovered important evidence that both the cobalt blue and the tin origins exclusively from the Bohemian-Saxon Ore Mountains. In his publications he wanted to confirm his main thesis of the development of early tin and glass industry centers in Europe independent of the Middle East. Archaeologists and mining historians criticized the mining archaeological records of Dayton.

Therefore, a research cooperation between the ABORA Association, the Mining Association Schneeberg, the Association Unknown Mining as well as other scientists of different specializations shall survey again those contradictory hypotheses. Tin isotopy studies from Dr. habil. Mike Haustsein (2013) provided anew geochemical evidences that a prehistorical mining could have been existed in the Bronze Age Ore Mountains. However, the current research still assumes that the mining in the Ore Mountains had not begun before the 10. century AD because of adverse conditions in the Saxon Ore Mountains.

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Topographic map of the Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge). Did here develop a prehistoric centre of tin mining which was connected in a long-distance trading network from Europe to Northern Africa? (Source: Alexrk2 of Wikimedia Commons, under: File:Erzgebirge phys map de.png)
 

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