The Origin of Bronze

Abstract

IN connection with Prof. W. Gowland's remarks on the origin of bronze in his presidential address to the Anthropological Institute, abstracted in your issue of February 15 (p. 381), it may be of interest to direct attention to the fact that Plutarch, in his “De defectu oraculorum,” refers to worked-out copper deposits in the island of Eubœa, from which were formerly manufactured swords which were “cold-forged” (ψνχρη´λατos), and in this connection he quotes Æschyius, who mentions a “self-sharpened (αν`χρη´λατos) Eubœan sword,” self-sharpened meaning, I presume, sharpened without fire. I believe that bronze containing only a small proportion of tin is malleable in the cold, but do not know if this would be the case with that referred to by Prof. Gowland as containing antimony. It would be interesting to know if tin is associated with copper in Eubœa. Swords of pure copper would hardly be of much use.

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