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Burning question

发布时间:2019-03-08 02:02:14来源:未知点击:

By Jon Copley A CASE of mistaken identity could solve the mystery of how ancient metalworkers fashioned intricate jewellery. Ceramic pots that archaeologists thought were used to strain curds may actually have been Bronze Age Bunsen burners. Jewellery dating to 1500 BC often features delicately soldered knots and scrolls of wire. How metalworkers produced such details has been a puzzle, because anyone trying to solder over an open fire would have burnt their fingers. Jacqui Wood, an archaeologist who runs the Cornwall Celtic Village, a reconstruction of a Bronze Age settlement, has studied a ceramic pot in the Lake Ledro Museum in northern Italy with its sides riddled with holes. “When I looked inside the pot, I saw it was almost vitrified,” she says. This shows that it had been heated repeatedly. Thinking that the pot might be a lantern, Wood lit a rush light underneath it. Immediately a flame about 20 centimetres high leapt from the top. When Wood put a slate over the top of the pot, the flame kept burning inside, as air could still circulate through the walls. “This could be very useful for soldering,