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Ref ID: 37065
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Cadet, Mélissa
Pryce, T. O.
Dillmann, Philippe
Sayavongkhamdy, Thongsa
Souksavatdy, Viengkeo
Luangkhoth, Thonglith
Chang, Nigel
Title: Technological reconstruction of the late prehistoric primary copper production of the Vilabouly Complex (central Laos)
Date: 2022
Source: Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences
DOI: 10.1007/s12520-022-01608-0
Article Number 141
Abstract: The late prehistoric copper production site of the Vilabouly Complex in central Laos delivered different types of materials that seem to be related to the copper chaine oppératoire for two main sites, Puen Baolo and Thong Na Nguak: minerals, slags and crucible fragments. A selection of these artefacts were analyzed (OM, SEM–EDS, XRD, bulk analyses) to study the extraction techniques, raw materials used and the different steps of production at Vilabouly. The various analytical datasets enabled us to propose a technological reconstruction, ranging from the extraction of minerals, smelting and casting. The results suggest a production dedicated to unalloyed copper with a crucible-based reaction in a one-step smelting process, a charge mainly composed of malachite and occasionally a mixture of ores (most likely malachite/chalcocite), depending on the mineralization being exploited. Slag analysis and lead isotope data show variation in the raw materials used at Puen Baolo and Thong Na Nguak linked to different mineralization zones which may also suggest different settlements/artisans and/or different exploitation periods.
Volume: 14
Page Start: 1
Page End: 28