Study clarifies origin of tin in the first trade routes

A study conducted by researchers from the University of Heidelberg and the Curt Engelhorn Center for Archaeometry in Mannheim analyzed various findings made of tin dating back to the second millennium BC found at various archaeological sites in Israel, Greece and Turkey.

Following the analysis, the researchers, who published a study on PLoS ONE, were convinced that the same pond did not come, in the form of ingots, from the areas of Central Asia, as had been assumed previously in other analyses, but from deposits located in Europe.

This discovery shows that even during this era, the Bronze Age, there were fairly large trade routes between Europe and the eastern Mediterranean and that several raw materials, very important and appreciated, such as tin, amber, glass and copper, were among the first to be marketed on these routes.

“The origin of the pond has long been an enigma in archaeological research,” says Ernst Pernicka, one of the authors of the study which also explains that all the objects made with the pond found in the region of the eastern Mediterranean can not come from this same region because in this area there were virtually no deposits.

This means that this raw material was exchanged, in the form of ingots, on fairly extensive trade routes related not only to Asia but also to Europe. Through the analysis of lead and tin isotopes, researchers found that the tin in the findings they analyzed corresponds to the tin in the regions of Cornwall and Devon, Great Britain.