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Web of Art 17: Transformations, Masks and Shamans

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Dagger handle with granulation.
27th-26th c BCE Mesopotamian Sumerian (Eary Dynastic) Applied Arts

SUMERIAN Anonymous (3500 BCE - 2000 BCE) Primary
c. 2650 BCE-2550 BCE
27th-26th c BCE
Sumerian (Eary Dynastic)
Weapon
Muqayyar. Iraq.
Philadelphia. University of Pennsylvania Museum.
Transform27.Mes02063
Metals transformed the way people lived when metallurgists learned to blend metals to create alloys that possessed more strength than either metal alone. This Sumerian dagger is made from electrum, a combination of gold and silver. The most significant blend was the mixture of copper with tin and antimony together to form bronze, creating a material which was harder than stone and much sharper than copper. Copper was extremely versatile, but pure copper is soft and it will not take a sharp edge. In addition to being strong and taking a sharp edge, bronze was light and malleable. Men first learned how to create bronze sometime in the early 3rd millennium BCE in the Near East, probably in Anatolia , and the technique spread from there throughout much of the Ancient World.

Caption: SUMERIAN | Dagger handle with granulation. | c. 2650-2550 BCE | Mesopotamian | Sumerian
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