The Earliest Lead Object in the Levant

Naama Yahalom-Mack, Dafna Langgut, Omri Dvir, Ofir Tirosh, Adi Eliyahu-Behar, Yigal Erel, Boaz Langford, Amos Frumkin, Mika Ullman, Uri Davidovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the deepest section of a large complex cave in the northern Negev desert, Israel, a biconical lead object was found logged onto a wooden shaft. Associated material remains and radiocarbon dating of the shaft place the object within the Late Chalcolithic period, at the late 5th millennium BCE. Based on chemical and lead isotope analysis, we show that this unique object was made of almost pure metallic lead, likely smelted from lead ores originating in the Taurus range in Anatolia. Either the finished object, or the raw material, was brought to the southern Levant, adding another major component to the already-rich Late Chalcolithic metallurgical corpus known to-date. The paper also discusses possible uses of the object, suggesting that it may have been used as a spindle whorl, at least towards its deposition.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere0142948
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume10
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Yahalom-Macket al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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