University of Oulu

Ikäheimo, Janne (2019) Neolithic native copper finds from Finland and north-west Russia : a multi-method approach. Fennoscandia archaeologica XXXVI, 87-107.

Neolithic native copper finds from Finland and north-west Russia : a multi-method approach

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Author: Ikäheimo, Janne1
Organizations: 1Archaeology, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 1000, FI-90014 University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 5.8 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Suomen arkeologinen seura, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-06-30


Archaeological native copper finds pertaining to Neolithic sites in Finland and Russian Karelia were analysed using a multi-method approach comprising portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (pXRF), electron-probe microanalysis (EPMA), metallography and the Vickers hardness test of microhardness. The results indicate how the processing of this exotic raw material took place in several ways. Native copper nuggets show evidence of annealing. Small copper sheets and strips have been produced by both cold hammering and hot working, while the making of some artefacts has involved smelting and casting. Some finds previously interpreted as possible Neolithic native copper objects are shown to be made of copper alloys or other metals and dated to later periods. The use of float copper of local or regional origin, or even the utilization of copper ore, instead of or alongside native copper are also briefly discussed.

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Series: Fennoscandia archaeologica
ISSN: 0781-7126
ISSN-L: 0781-7126
Volume: XXXVI
Pages: 87 - 107
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 615 History and archaeology
1171 Geosciences
216 Materials engineering
Funding: The research for this paper was conducted mainly under two research projects: Copper, Material Culture and the Making of the World in Late Stone Age Finland and Russian Karelia funded by the University of Helsinki (2010–12; grant #490055) and The Use of Materials and the Neolithization of North-East Europe (c 6000–1000 BC) funded by the Academy of Finland and the University of Oulu (2013–17; project #269066).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 269066
Detailed Information: 269066 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2019 Janne Ikäheimo and Fennoscandia archaeologica.