refining metals in ancient Near East

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Kenneth Greifer
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:05 pm

refining metals in ancient Near East

Postby Kenneth Greifer » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:10 pm

I was trying to read about how metals like gold and silver were refined in the ancient Near East. If someone understand this subject, I would like to know if they used something called potash or potassium nitrate as part of the process to do this. If you answer me, please answer like you were explaining to a very little kid because I don't know chemistry, but I would like to know in simple words if it was used and how.
Kenneth Greifer

Posts: 965
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:51 am

Re: refining metals in ancient Near East

Postby kwrandolph » Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:05 pm

Gold, in ancient times as well as often today, if found as nuggets or visible “dust” where all that’s needed is physically to separate the gold from the ore. That does not require special refining.

Copper too was found as nuggets where all that was required was physical separation. It’s still found that way in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and nearby areas of Wisconsin and Minnesota. But most of those mines are not big enough for commercial extraction by modern means.

Silver, on the other hand, was chemically extracted from its ores, and I need to read up more to see all the steps that required.

Karl W. Randolph.

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