10 Facts About Arsenical bronze


Arsenical bronze is an alloy in which arsenic, as opposed to or in addition to tin or other constituent metals, is added to copper to make bronze.

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Artifacts made of arsenical bronze cover the complete spectrum of metal objects, from axes to ornaments.

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An increase in work-hardening capability arises with an increasing percentage of arsenic, and the Arsenical bronze can be work-hardened over a wide range of temperatures without fear of embrittlement.

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Arsenical bronze was used by many societies and cultures across the globe.

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Societies using arsenical bronze include the Akkadians, those of Ur, and the Amorites, all based around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and centres of the trade networks which spread arsenical bronze across the Middle East during the Bronze Age.

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Use of arsenical bronze spread along trade routes into northwestern China, to the Gansu–Qinghai region, with the Siba, Qijia and Tianshanbeilu cultures.

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However it is still unclear as to whether arsenical bronze artefacts were imported or made locally, although the latter is suspected as being more likely due to possible local exploitation of mineral resources.

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Indeed, it seems that arsenical bronze was the most common alloy in use in the Mediterranean basin at this time.

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In South America, arsenical bronze was the predominant alloy in Ecuador and north and central Peru, because of the rich arsenic bearing ores present there.

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Arsenical bronze co-existed with tin bronze in the Andes, probably due to its greater ductility which meant it could be easily hammered into thin sheets which were valued in local society.

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