Tin sources and bronze production in NW Iberia in ancient times: the IberianTin project

Elin Figueiredoa, Emmanuelle Meuniera, Rui J.C. Silvaa, João Pedro Veigaa

aCENIMAT/I3N, Departamento de Ciência dos Materiais, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Quinta da Torre, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal

During Bronze Age the technology of alloying copper with tin spread to most European regions from the Near-East. Tin became a valuable product, and its demand increased during the Iron Age and Roman times. In Europe tin sources are restricted to a few regions, being the NW Iberian Peninsula the region with the most extensive area with tin deposits (the Iberian tin belt is three times the length of the Cornish-Devonian field). The cassiterite in Iberia was easily available in primary and secondary deposits. In the present project (IberianTin PTDC/HAR-ARQ/32290/2017) we will study selected archaeological and tin mining sites from Late Bronze Age to Roman times, to produce an integrated study combining archaeological, geological, metallurgical and historical data. The final aim is to valorise the Iberian tin production by delivering scientific content of international relevance.