Dating ancient brass
There are large number of ancient copper, iron, lead working and smelting sites across Rajasthan in the Aravallis, indicating a long tradition of metallurgy.Besides metal tools, a variety of pottery, beads of semi precious stones, terracotta, paste and other antiquarian material is known from such early settlements.However, Weirong and Xiangxi (1994: 16-17) inform that the earliest literary record about brass mentioned as , written in 1637 (Sung and Sun 1966).It is the first definite evidence of metallic zinc in China, which also mentions details of alloys used for coins.In fact the Aravallis are a polymetallic zone like Anatolia. University of Baroda to initiate archaeometallurgical study at Zawar jointly with Hindustan Zinc Limited, Udaipur in 1983 (Craddock , 1986; Willies, 1984).This paper is an attempt to present an overview of the archaeometallurgical researches on zinc and the position of zinc and brass in archaeological perspective in India. This team carried out extensive investigations both for ancient mining as well as smelting of zinc at Zawar.
The entire valley of Tiri at Zawar is marked by immense heaps of slag and retorts, which indicate a long tradition of zinc smelting at Zawar. Besides Zawar, the evidence of early zinc mining and smelting has also been found 2 km south east of village Kaya in form of a small retort heap and ancient mine workings in the adjacent hills.
Early evidence of zinc has been claimed from several parts of Europe and Middle East e.g., Switzerland, Greece, Cyprus and Palestine.
But all these claims, except for the evidence of the sheet of zinc from the Athenian Agora (300 BC) are doubtful (Craddock , 1998: IS).
2: Residential structures made of discarded retorts Though archaeometallurgical activity at Zawar was casually recorded by several Indian and British scholars between 17, 2001). Kaya is located 6 km north of Zawar, and about 15 km south of Udaipur town.
Zinc ores are widely distributed in the country, but major deposits are found in the Aravallis.