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Copper ingot

Period:
Late Bronze Age
Date:
ca. 1450–1050 B.C.
Culture:
Cypriot
Medium:
Copper
Dimensions:
width 14 3/8in. (36.5cm) length 17 1/2in. (44.5cm)
Classification:
Bronzes
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1911
Accession Number:
11.140.7
  • Description

    Cyprus is thought to have been the main producer of copper in the Late Bronze Age, although very few ingots, apart from miniature votive ingots, have been found there. Ingots of this characteristic shape were made only in the Late Bronze Age and seem to be the usual form in which pure copper was transported as a raw material to the ports of the eastern Mediterranean. Copper was mixed with tin, usually in a nine-to-one ration, to make finished bronze objects such as the adjacent stand (74.51.5684). The ingot's irregular surface was produced as the pure copper cooled in the open mold in which the metal was cast. The sheer weight of the ingot, approximately sixty-three pounds, is testimony to the large scale of the copper industry at this time and the bulk quantities of copper that were being exchanged. The discovery off the coast of Anatolia at Ulu Burun of a Late Bronze Age shipwreck with a cargo of over ten tons of Cypriot copper ingots provides remarkable confirmation of the extensive international metals trade in which Cyprus clearly played an important role.

  • Provenance

    Said to come from Asia Minor

  • References

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1912. "Department of Classical Art: Recent Acquisitions." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 7 (5): p. 98.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1915. Greek, Etruscan and Roman Bronzes. New York: Gilliss Press, no. 1810, pp. 456-57.

    Wheeler, Tamara Stech, Robert Maddin, and Prof. James Muhly. 1975. "Ingots and the Bronze Age Copper Trade in the Mediterranean: A Progress Report." Expedition, 17 (4): pp. 31-39.

    DeJesus, P.S. 1976. "Report on the analyses of the 'Makaraska' tool." Studi Micenei ed Egeo-Anatolici, 17: p. 230, Note 43.

    1985. "Greek Bronzes in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 43(2): p. 8.

    Karageorghis, Vassos, Dr. Joan R. Mertens, and Marice E. Rose. 2000. Ancient Art from Cyprus: The Cesnola Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 12, fig. 13.

    Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 259, pp. 225, 457.

  • See also
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    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
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