Smelting

While smelting often took place close to the mines, it also occurred on the ridges within Wadi Faynan. This is the case at WF524, where the strong prevailing winds would have acted like powerful fans to help the process of heating up a mix of copper ore and charcoal placed into a simple bowl furnace or crucible. Small rods of fired clay, known as ‘lady fingers’ were used to support the mix to enable the molten copper to flow freely to the base of the crucible.

When the smelting was finished, the crucibles had to be broken apart to separate the metal from the slag, leaving crucible fragments and the ‘lady fingers’ as waste.

Location of WF524