Study of the fusing agents used in the metallurgy of copper at Cerro Muriano (Córdoba) during the High-Imperial Roman period
Keywords:Copper, Fusing agents, Metallography, Smelting, Ist Century A.C.
There are no doubts that Hispania was, under the Roman Empire, the most profitable and abundant in resources of all the mining districts exploded by Rome -Hispania, Galia, Danubian Provinces, Dacia, Greece, Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt and North Africa-. Plinius gives the same data and hands many more in the passages dedicated to the mining and the working of the metals in his Natural History. Of all the many mining places that this author refers, the exploiting in copper at Cerro Muriano presents the main interest; of this he says that it was of an unbeatable quality, used, among other applications, to manufacture the very famous "Copper of Campania". The utilization of fusing agents, adapted to the process of copper obtainment, is fundamental for obtaining this high quality. The addition of these fusing agents was very important for the control of the work parameters and to reach the required temperatures. The high purity of the obtained copper shows a very close knowledge of the phenomena involved in the process.
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