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Origin of the mysterious Yin-Shang bronzes in China indicated by lead isotopes

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posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 12:47 AM
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Ok this is not new, just knew to me as I recently came across it although Published online:
18 March 2016, the study below showed probable trade links between ancient China, the Shang dynasty Mesopotima and the Nile valley and other parts of Africa in metals trade, I do not pretend to know all that is to know about this study as Metallurgy is not my thing, but I find the following to be of interest.


Fine Yin-Shang bronzes containing lead with puzzlingly highly radiogenic isotopic compositions appeared suddenly in the alluvial plain of the Yellow River around 1400 BC. The Tongkuangyu copper deposit in central China is known to have lead isotopic compositions even more radiogenic and scattered than those of the Yin-Shang bronzes. Most of the Yin-Shang bronzes are tin-copper alloys with high lead contents. The low lead and tin concentrations, together with the less radiogenic lead isotopes of bronzes in an ancient smelting site nearby, however, exclude Tongkuangyu as the sole supplier of the Yin-Shang bronzes. Interestingly, tin ingots/prills and bronzes found in Africa also have highly radiogenic lead isotopes, but it remains mysterious as to how such African bronzes may have been transported to China. Nevertheless, these African bronzes are the only bronzes outside China so far reported that have lead isotopes similar to those of the Yin-Shang bronzes. All these radiogenic lead isotopes plot along ~2.0–2.5 Ga isochron lines, implying that deposits around Archean cratons are the most likely candidates for the sources. African cratons along the Nile and even micro-cratons in the Sahara desert may have similar lead signatures. These places were probably accessible by ancient civilizations, and thus are the most favorable suppliers of the bronzes.
www.nature.com...


Also shown are the distribution of tin deposits30, the Loess Plateau
and places where ancient bronzes have been found in China

Similarity of lead isotopes between African and Yin-Shang bronzes



Recent study show that “prehistory” tin ingots/prills and slages as well as bronzes from South Africa and Zimbabwe also have highly radiogenic lead isotopes, which do plot on an isochron very similar to the Yin-Shang bronzes (Fig. 4)36. These tin and bronze samples from South Africa and Zimbabwe are located between the Archean Kaapvaal and Zimbabwe cratons (


Figure 5: Sketched geologic map of Africa showing the distributions of Archean cratons, all of which have provide highly radiogenic “old” lead (2.0–2.5 Ga).

Also shown are the locations of prehistory sites of tin ingots/prills, slag and broznes36 with highly radiogenic lead isotopes. In addition to Kaapvaal and Zimbabwe cratons, Congo, Tanzania and Uganda cratons are close the Nile River and thus were more accessible to ancient people. In addition, there are micro Archean cratons in the Sahara desert, which was more accessible in ancient time.



When putting together all the observations, the most straightforward conclusion is that both the Yin-Shang and the Sanxingdui bronzes were obtained in Africa, bearing the highly radiogenic lead isotopic signatures of the Africa Archean cratons. Alternatively, some ancient people might have come to China from Africa, carrying tin and/or bronzes with them[
www.nature.com...

I am no hyper diffusionist but they do seem to have their case bolstered here a little.
edit on 27-6-2017 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 12:58 AM
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originally posted by: Spider879
Ok this is not new, just knew to me as I recently came across it although Published online:
18 March 2016, the study below showed probable trade links between ancient China, the Shang dynasty Mesopotima and the Nile valley and other parts of Africa in metals trade, I do not pretend to know all that is to know about this study as Metallurgy is not my thing, but I find the following to be of interest.


Fine Yin-Shang bronzes containing lead with puzzlingly highly radiogenic isotopic compositions appeared suddenly in the alluvial plain of the Yellow River around 1400 BC. The Tongkuangyu copper deposit in central China is known to have lead isotopic compositions even more radiogenic and scattered than those of the Yin-Shang bronzes. Most of the Yin-Shang bronzes are tin-copper alloys with high lead contents. The low lead and tin concentrations, together with the less radiogenic lead isotopes of bronzes in an ancient smelting site nearby, however, exclude Tongkuangyu as the sole supplier of the Yin-Shang bronzes. Interestingly, tin ingots/prills and bronzes found in Africa also have highly radiogenic lead isotopes, but it remains mysterious as to how such African bronzes may have been transported to China. Nevertheless, these African bronzes are the only bronzes outside China so far reported that have lead isotopes similar to those of the Yin-Shang bronzes. All these radiogenic lead isotopes plot along ~2.0–2.5 Ga isochron lines, implying that deposits around Archean cratons are the most likely candidates for the sources. African cratons along the Nile and even micro-cratons in the Sahara desert may have similar lead signatures. These places were probably accessible by ancient civilizations, and thus are the most favorable suppliers of the bronzes.
www.nature.com...


Also shown are the distribution of tin deposits30, the Loess Plateau
and places where ancient bronzes have been found in China

Similarity of lead isotopes between African and Yin-Shang bronzes



Recent study show that “prehistory” tin ingots/prills and slages as well as bronzes from South Africa and Zimbabwe also have highly radiogenic lead isotopes, which do plot on an isochron very similar to the Yin-Shang bronzes (Fig. 4)36. These tin and bronze samples from South Africa and Zimbabwe are located between the Archean Kaapvaal and Zimbabwe cratons (


Figure 5: Sketched geologic map of Africa showing the distributions of Archean cratons, all of which have provide highly radiogenic “old” lead (2.0–2.5 Ga).

Also shown are the locations of prehistory sites of tin ingots/prills, slag and broznes36 with highly radiogenic lead isotopes. In addition to Kaapvaal and Zimbabwe cratons, Congo, Tanzania and Uganda cratons are close the Nile River and thus were more accessible to ancient people. In addition, there are micro Archean cratons in the Sahara desert, which was more accessible in ancient time.



When putting together all the observations, the most straightforward conclusion is that both the Yin-Shang and the Sanxingdui bronzes were obtained in Africa, bearing the highly radiogenic lead isotopic signatures of the Africa Archean cratons. Alternatively, some ancient people might have come to China from Africa, carrying tin and/or bronzes with them[
www.nature.com...

I am no hyper diffusionist but they do seem to have their case bolstered here a little.





posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 02:04 AM
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a reply to: Spider879

Clarification the civilization itself is Sanxingdui or Shu not Shang which was it's rival.
edit on 27-6-2017 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 07:55 AM
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a reply to: Spider879



Many isotopes of lead are still radioactive on some level, because lead is decayed from Uranium.

Metals or their oxides often occur together due to mineral leaching and deposition in underground veins of rock, especially the heavier elements like Ur, Pb, Cu, Au, etc. The further back we go the less pure the metals refining techniques, the more different trace elements are included in castings. They didn't have electricity...

google search


edit on 27-6-2017 by intrptr because: link



posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 08:06 AM
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I think it is pretty neat how particle decay leads to pretty much all elements over a vast amount of time; when losing or gaining various particles and from different exposures whether heat or cold, various gases or other elements in surrounding material.

Some do not even believe in animal evolution; and yet elements and minerals do it all the time as well.

Constant change or just a constant cycle of flux... the only thing that seems un-natural is all the grasping at permanence... when that is more just simply a unit of time; everything coming and going and decaying right before the eyes(mostly unseen) and yet going on at various rates. Things slowly rotting in the refrigerator, carpet glue, sink and tub drains etc. outgassing concrete and roads losing grains, moisture eating wood and growing mold in walls... and the list goes on and on.

Precarious and yet so infatuated with so many things of little importance to the moment of awareness in which they are occurring. Overwhelmed? Lol don't be you are also currently rotting despite being likely filled with oh so many preservatives a wild animal wouldn't eat you; so take care.




posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 08:41 AM
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Gwad there are some bright ppl on ATS.

edit on 27-6-2017 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 09:00 AM
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a reply to: Spider879

Fascinating thread thanks Spider although i do wonder about that conclusion - surely the most obvious conclusion is that they were traded? We have evidence of grain trade almost 5000 years ago which would mean the routes were established at least then (if not earlier). If you are travelling all that way with / for grain you can bet that other materials were also taken.

Ancient nomads spread earliest known grains along Silk Road

Turkey was heavily involved in early tin / bronze production - Kestel in Southern Turkey (access to Silk Route) mined tin between 3250 - 1800 BC.

I am not ruling out anything but do think trade along the route is far more likely.



posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 10:54 AM
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Good thread , thank you .



posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 01:08 PM
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a reply to: Flavian

Yes I think the relay trade system is easier , but one thing the article said

Nevertheless, these African bronzes are the only bronzes outside China so far reported that have lead isotopes similar to those of the Yin-Shang bronzes

That sounds more like they were some thing direct about it, it still could have middle men, but why between Africa and China shouldn't they spread it to other costumers as well..but the study also said "So Far"
Good read on the grain link..

edit on 27-6-2017 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 01:23 PM
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ATS was yet still even better before 2010, before all the facebook children, before the first decline, now all of you fear the second fall yet you know not what this once was.



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