Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rare Lead Bars Discovered Off The Coast Of Ibiza May Be Carthaginian Munitions

Date:
December 16, 2008
Source:
University of Cologne
Summary:
Archaeologists have recovered three lead bars which may originate from the third century before Christ, 39 meters under the sea off the north coast of Ibiza. One of the bars has Iberian characters on it. The lead originates from the mines of Sierra Morena in southern Spain.

Dr. Marcus Heinrich Hermanns from the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cologne has recovered three lead bars which may originate from the third century before Christ, 39 meters under the sea off the north coast of Ibiza.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of cologne, Universitaet zu Koeln

Dr. Marcus Heinrich Hermanns from the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cologne has recovered three lead bars which may originate from the third century before Christ, 39 meters under the sea off the north coast of Ibiza. One of the bars has Iberian characters on it. According to the German Mining Museum in Bochum, the lead originates from the mines of Sierra Morena in southern Spain.

With the help of local volunteer divers, some of whom he also trained in crash courses in underwater archaeology financed by the local government, Dr. Hermanns examined the three lead bars. A fourth specimen had already been found on an earlier occasion. The characters on the upper surfaces of two of the four known bars are syllabary symbols from the script of Northeastern Iberian. “The characters must have been added to the metal before it had set, shortly after it had been cast,” says the underwater archaeologist Dr. Hermanns, “in which case, the characters are more likely to be related to production as opposed to commercial information.”

The meaning of the characters has not yet been determined, however, the dating of the objects to the third century B.C., i.e. the period of the Second Punic War, raises further questions. The reason for this is that there is very little evidence for the downsizing of silver works in the Sierra Morena region for this period. There is, however, evidence for this in the mining area around Cartagena in the eastern part of the Iberian Peninsula, i.e. the language area of Northeastern Iberian. For this reason, scientists suspect that the raw lead was processed and branded in this area, before it was placed on board a freighter that was shipwrecked off the north coast of Ibiza.

The destination planned for the lead remains unknown. The reason why the lead was transported from the Spanish mainland to the Balearic Islands, even though silver mines were in operation on the islands, has not been established. During antiquity, lead was a by-product of silver mining and used mainly for coinage. Dr. Hermanns therefore assumes that the lead was used as munitions for mercenaries provided by the Baleareans during antiquity.

Due to the dating of the lead, it would make sense that this was for the Second Punic War. “The examination of the recovered lead bars provides a further basing point for the examination of the pre-Roman metal industry in the western Mediterranean region,” according to Dr. Hermanns, “there have been some relevant discoveries in the past, however, it is very difficult to establish anything concrete with certainty, due to the research done so far.” This project was sponsored by the Fritz-Thyssen-Stiftung, Cologne.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Cologne. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Cologne. "Rare Lead Bars Discovered Off The Coast Of Ibiza May Be Carthaginian Munitions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081215074650.htm>.
University of Cologne. (2008, December 16). Rare Lead Bars Discovered Off The Coast Of Ibiza May Be Carthaginian Munitions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081215074650.htm
University of Cologne. "Rare Lead Bars Discovered Off The Coast Of Ibiza May Be Carthaginian Munitions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081215074650.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Fossils & Ruins News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: MD Church Built in 1773 Ravaged by Fire

Raw: MD Church Built in 1773 Ravaged by Fire

AP (July 22, 2014) Authorities say a 241-year-old church on the National Register of Historic Places has been ravaged by fire in Maryland. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Neil Armstrong gained international fame after becoming the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. But what was his life like after the historic trip? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

AFP (July 19, 2014) As if it weren't enough that the Queen is the Sovereign of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, she is also the owner of all Britain's unmarked swans. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins