The geoarchaeology of “waste heaps” from the ancient mining and beneficiation of copper-rich ores in the Wadi Khalid in southern Jordan

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Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-433
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Early online date29 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
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Two main types of ancient mining-waste/spoil deposits were identified on the floor of the Wadi Khalid in the foothills of the Mountains of Edom near the ancient metallurgical centre of the Khirbat Faynan. The Khalid OP Beds are primarily the product of the purposeful breaking and selection of copper-rich clasts of particular sizes as part of the beneficiation of the mined ores, whereas the Khalid W Beds appear to be the result of the widespread discard of the more abundant final “waste products”. Geochemical studies of their surface copper contents by p-XRF of both deposits at eroding exposures conform to these interpretations


  • geoarchaeology, P-XRF, copper, beneficiation, Jordan, mining, smelting