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C2TN

CHALCOLITHIC AND EARLY IRON AGE JEWELLERY – 2000 YEARS OF GOLD TECHNOLOGY

G3 1

In the Portuguese territory, the Chalcolithic (c. 3000-2000 BC) gold jewellery mostly comprises basic shapes such as sheets, foils and wires, being quite different from the complex typologies from the Early Iron Age (c. 850-400 BC), which include the assembly of individual components and different types of adornments. The research has been identifying the technological developments that allowed this typological evolution, such as the use of less expensive and more workable raw materials by alloying the gold with silver (up to 42%) and/or copper (up to 6%). Moreover, the use of a partial melting/solid state diffusion process and/or copper-rich solder alloys allowed the manufacture of intricate shapes by joining different components and filigree decorations of Early Iron Age gold jewellery.