Shipping metal: Characterisation and provenance study of the copper ingots from the Rochelongue underwater site (Seventh–Sixth century BC), West Languedoc, France

Enrique Aragon Nunez, Ignacio Montero-Ruiz, Mark Polzer, Wendy van Duivenvoorde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The copper ingots from the underwater site off Rochelongue, near Cap d’Agde, on the coast of West Languedoc, offer an exciting means to investigate coastal mobility and cultural interaction between southern France and the broader western Mediterranean basin in the Early Iron Age. This paper presents the results of elemental and lead isotope analyses of a selection of copper ingots from the Rochelongue site, along with several ingots from the Iberian Peninsula, and for the first time demonstrates that their composition is consistent with Iberian and Alpine metalliferous mineral sources, and possibly some Mediterranean sources as well. The Rochelongue site also speaks to the likely role of indigenous societies of Languedoc in the movement of metals between Atlantic, Continental and Mediterranean circuits. The Rochelongue ingot metal thus provides a window into expansive networks of trade contacts that must be evaluated alongside typological and cultural data.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103286
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Volume41
Issue number103286
Early online date11 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Rochelongue underwater site
  • Phoenicians
  • indigenous societies
  • Languedoc
  • copper ingots
  • maritime connectivity
  • metals trade
  • Early Iron Age
  • lead-isotope analysis

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