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Sanxingdui objects on US tour
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Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Sun Oct 19th, 2014 08:04 am
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"The artifacts were radiocarbon dated to the 12th-11th centuries BC. They had been created using remarkably advanced bronze casting technology, which was acquired by adding lead to a combination of copper and tin, creating a stronger substance that could create substantially larger and heavier objects, such as the life-size human statue and the 4-metre tall tree"

http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/unique-3000-year-old-sanxingdui-artifacts-0102839

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/rare-ancient-chinese-bronzes-display-us-26262571

Attached Image (viewed 149 times):

bronze-mask-of-Sanxingdui.jpg

Alexander Guthrie Stewart
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 Posted: Sun Oct 19th, 2014 06:46 pm
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That looks oddly interesting, but the abysmal standard of 'journalism' in the ancient origins website and grammar in wikipedia is not good.  Firstly you can't carbon date a metal, they mean other artefacts from the site have been dated.  Secondly I'm very sure that you don't get a stronger alloy by adding lead to bronze.  If you did, that's what tools would be made of.  Instead, the lead is used in bronze casting to make the liquid metal flow better into finely detailed and complex moulds. 


Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Sun Oct 19th, 2014 06:49 pm
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Alexander Guthrie Stewart wrote:
That looks oddly interesting, but the abysmal standard of 'journalism' in the ancient origins website and grammar in wikipedia is not good.  Firstly you can't carbon date a metal, they mean other artefacts from the site have been dated.  Secondly I'm very sure that you don't get a stronger alloy by adding lead to bronze.  If you did, that's what tools would be made of.  Instead, the lead is used in bronze casting to make the liquid metal flow better into finely detailed and complex moulds. 




Precisely. It came up on my Facebook feed and I thought it looked interesting but as you say it really needs better treatment. I will try and source some more serious material on it when I have the time.

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Mon Oct 20th, 2014 04:06 pm
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Not much scientific info around. Here's a Chinese docu about the finds (English subtitles). In two parts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qg_Oc2iE6jg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTMiwGJLj3I

Alexander Guthrie Stewart
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 Posted: Mon Oct 20th, 2014 09:38 pm
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Oh yes, I forgot; I can edit wikipedia too...

Also found this, which doesn't have much on the metallurgy per se but is interesting nontheless:
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=O0UlsHXmv9IC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false


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