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BARlines: Bronze Age Source of Tin Found in Turkey? Biblical Archaeology Review (20:3), May/Jun 1994.

Taurus mountains

Taurus mountains. By Zeynel Cebeci – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The sweat and blood of children may have helped to forge the Bronze Age, if recent discoveries prove correct. Aslihan Yener, assistant professor at the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute, believes that a mine and ancient mining village she has found in the Central c of Turkey show that tin mining was a well-developed industry in the area as early as 2870 B.C.

Tin is the metal that made possible the Bronze Age (3000–1200 B.C.), because, when added in small amounts to copper, it produces bronze, which is harder and more easily cast in molds than copper. This technological advance helped to spur the great economic expansion that occurred throughout the Near East at that time. Until now, however, scholars have thought that the nearest source of tin was in Afghanistan. Yener’s discovery therefore may change established theories about economic and metallurgical developments in the Bronze Age Mediterranean world.

Read the rest of BARlines: Bronze Age Source of Tin Found in Turkey? in the online Biblical Archaeology Society Library.

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