Goldwork technology at the Arabian Peninsula. First data from Saruq al Hadid Iron Age site (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Ignacio Soriano, Alicia Perea, Nicolau Escanilla, Fernando Contreras Rodrigo, Yaaqoub Yousif Ali Al Ali, Mansour Boraik Radwan Karim, Hassan Zein

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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd The Spanish team that leads a research project at Saruq al Hadid excavated an area where about 450 gold items were recovered during the campaigns from 2015 to 2017. The site with a lengthy occupation from the end of the fourth millennium to the Islamic period is well known for its important finds attesting copper metallurgy production during Iron Age II. Other rich archaeological finds in iron, stone and pottery, in some cases showing a snake iconography, point to a ceremonial place where production processes and exchanges took place. We present an archaeometric study of a significative sample of the gold items found at the site using OM (Optical Microscopy) and SEM-EDS (Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy). Our provisional results suggest the existence of a workshop -the first archaeologically attested at the Arabian Peninsula- where lost wax casting and plastic deformation were usual practices, together with other goldwork techniques like polychrome alloying, filigree and granulation. Evidence of the production processes were workshop wastes and raw material, although no associated archaeological structures could be identified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science Reports. DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.08.030
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • Arabian peninsula
  • Gold
  • Iron age
  • Lost-wax casting
  • Polychromy


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