Tappeh Shoghali; A significant early silver production site in north central Iran
Keywords:Archaeometallurgy, cupellation, mineralogy, geochemistry, Sialk III-IV
The third season of archaeological excavation at Tappeh Shoghali which is located ca. 40km southeast of Tehran has revealed numerous metallurgical relics from Sialk III-IV period (Late fourth and early third Millennium BCE). The field examination of the objects together with mineralogical and geochemical investigations indicate that the litharge cakes and fragments, a silver-rich lead ingot, and several crucibles and furnaces, as well as miniature dishes are the remaining of a significant silver production activity out of an argentiferous ore in the site during the Late fourth millennium/Early Third millennium BCE. This emplaces the site among the earliest silver production workshops with the best preserved installations and relics.
Discovery of this site alongside the other already known sites of early urbanization time in central Iran like Tappeh Sialk, Arisman, and Hissar boost the importance of central Iran in the early development of such an ancient technology.