Diversified manufacturing processes and multiple mineral sources: Features of Warring States bronze vessels excavated from Chutai Cemetery M1, Anhui Province

Zhe Luo, Min Yang, JianSheng Liu,Fang Huang, Han Wei,AnChuan Fan

Science China Technological Sciences(2023)

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Northern Anhui was an important region for diverse bronze culture convergence and extensive metal resource circulation in the Pre-Qin Period. In this paper, metallographic microstructure analysis, chemical composition analysis, and lead isotope ratio analysis were conducted on 12 samples of 6 Warring States Period (476–221 BCE) bronze vessels excavated from Chutai Cemetery M1, Fuyang, Anhui Province, revealing the integrated application of diversified manufacturing processes, such as casting, forging, cold working, and welding and multiple metal minerals. The analytical results showed that 2 Ding vessels (鼎) were made by casting, and 2 He vessels (盒) and 2 Dui vessels (敦) were made by forging followed by cold working. These two types of bronze vessels made by different manufacturing processes have significantly distinct alloy ratios and mineral sources, among which the Cu and Sn contents of the 2 cast bronze vessels are lower and the Pb content is higher, while the Cu and Sn contents of the 4 forged bronze vessels are higher and the Pb content is lower. The lead minerals of the two types of bronze vessels might come from Western Henan and the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, respectively. In addition, the 3 pieces of solder used to weld bronze vessels were all made of pure Sn, their metal minerals should come from the densely distributed area of tin ore in Southern China, and Sn solders were mainly discovered in the Chu culture area during the Eastern Zhou Period.
Northern Anhui,The Warring States Period,Chu culture,bronze vessels,manufacturing processes,alloying techniques,mineral sources
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