Archaeometallurgical and archaeological investigation of Hellenistic metal objects from Ashdod-Yam (Israel)

Dana Ashkenazi*, Alexander Fantalkin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The archaeological site of Ashdod-Yam is located on the Mediterranean coast of Israel, in the southern part of the modern city of Ashdod. In this study, we present the analysis of various metal objects from the Hellenistic period, retrieved at Ashdod-Yam during two seasons of renewed excavations. The objects were characterized by metallurgical non-destructive and minimal-destructive testing methods, including stereo microscopy, XRF and SEM-EDS measurements, in order to determine their composition and manufacturing process. The examined artefacts were originally made of copper alloys, lead and iron. Our research indicates that the manufacturing of the objects involved diverse techniques, including casting, hammering, cold-forging and annealing cycles, drilling, engraving, as well as joining methods such as forge-welding and soldering, indicating that the artefacts were made by trained metalsmiths and were most probably produced in different workshops. Due to the paucity of studies dedicated to systematic archaeometallurgical analysis of Hellenistic metal objects from the southern Levant, this article contributes to a better understanding of Hellenistic technological practices in this part of the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)913-935
Number of pages23
JournalArchaeological and Anthropological Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 6 Mar 2019


FundersFunder number
Angelika Berlejung
Institut für Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, University of Leipzig
Microtech LTD
Wolfson Applied Materials Research Centre
Tel Aviv University


    • Archaeometallurgy
    • Ashdod-Yam site
    • Bronze
    • Hellenistic
    • Lead
    • Wrought-iron and steel


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