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Archaeologists unveil finds in Rome digs


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A sixth-century copper factory, medieval kitchens still stocked with pots and pans, and remains of Renaissance palaces are among the finds unveiled Friday by archaeologists digging up Rome in preparation for a new subway line. Archaeologists have been probing the depths of the Eternal City at 38 digs, many of which are near famous monuments or on key thoroughfares.


Over the last nine months, remains ? including Roman taverns and 16th-century palace foundations ? have turned up at the central Piazza Venezia and near the ancient Forum where works are paving the way for one of the 30 stations of Rome's third subway line.


"The medieval and Renaissance finds that were brought to light in Piazza Venezia are extremely important for their rarity," said archaeologist Mirella Serlorenzi, who is working on the site.


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Heard about this a while ago Mary. The copper smelting workshop is of great interest ..... copper is a really nice metal to work with, it also polishes up superb.

Its 2 main alloys - Bronze (copper/tin) and brass (copper/zinc) are also great metals to work with.

The process needed to smelt single element metals is an art in itself ! a 'factory' - as it says - would probably have consisted of numerous smelting furnaces, it was an industry in itself just to smelt metal from ore.

Traces of furnaces were also found at wilderspool along with ingot moulds.

Metals of any kind were highly valued items and those who could 'work' them were held in very high regard.

Sorry I'm waffling now :o ......... don't start me off about metals from the past !! :D:D

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Brass has been around as long as bronze, with bronze being the predominant of the two copper alloys.

Brass tended to be more produced in Europe as there were plentiful supplies of zinc ore, a Roman zinc ore mine being found in Germany. There are quite a few references to 'another bronze of golder colour' which is possibly referring to brass.

Brass and bronze are also much harder metals than wrought iron, even though iron took precedence eventually due to its easier production and later the discovering of how to harden it by 'baking' in charcoal to absorb carbon - hence steel.

Bronze was the more common of the two, hence the bronze age, even though brass was around also.

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