Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Copper with arsenic


#1

I can’t offer any practical advice on the use of this alloy, but from
an historical point of view, arsenical copper was used in the Ancient
Near East “from at least the fourth into the second millennium BC”
(P. R. S. Moorey, Ancient Mesopotamian Materials and Industries
[Oxford; 1994] p. 250). Thus, analyses of existing artifacts show
that arsenical copper was used for almost 2,000 years there. It’s
not clear if the alloys were natural or artificial. Information from
cuneiform texts does not indicate concern with poisonous properties
of such alloys, but in any case the texts rarely concern themselves
with practical aspects of metalworking.

Judy Bjorkman
@JLBjorkman