Nothing mysterious about this…. surely it’s just BRASS! (80% copper, 20% zinc)
If there are no other objects made of this brass (what copper and zinc alloy into) how does anyone know what the workshops of Gela would have been doing with it? THis story seems to be making a lot of assumptions base on not a lot.
Just calling these ingots orichalium because Plato, who didn’t describe its creation nor its composition, mentioned the stuff does not make it orichalium. It only makes it a rare brass, which last I, looked has about a dozen common and a thousand uncommon formulae
“…an ancient shipwreck that sunk nearly 2,600 years ago near the coast of Sicily… The wreck dates to the first half of the sixth century. “
Is my arithmetic off or is the author of this article confused?
First half of the sixth century BCE. The author made a simple mistake leaving out the last part. “first half of the sixth century” BCE would be 500 to 550 years BCE plus 2,015 is 2,565 years ago (max), which is pretty darn close to the “2,600” the author states. I am ok with the author’s approximation.
Perhaps you should look to other examples of ancient alloys before such drastic conclusions are made. These peoples have made metals for already a millennia there time, well before we were around. If anything, a great example is the alloy fabeled to be the cap stone at Giza. They had no tv, they had only they’re tools and hands to entertain, per say. So then who is to say that an alloy made of various components, forged in such a way to either contain or emulate a or multiple components – yet be set apart in it’s own way due to processes now lost – couldn’t exist?
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