DescriptionNATIVE COPPER REPLACEMENT OF WOOD
Avhellero (Avdhellero), Larnaca District (Iskele District), Cyprus
Only a small number of people know (or care) that the metal Copper was named for the Island of Cyprus (Kupros in Greek) where it has been mined since the fourth millennium B.C., or over 6000 years ago. During that time wooden props were used to support the rock of the underground workings. Some of these workings were later flooded by copper bearing mine waters and, over time, the slowly decaying wood captured wandering copper ions and converted them into metallic copper, while retaining some of the form and structure of the original wood. Collected in 1928 by a J. Dawson from an "Old Roman mine" on "Cypress" (sic), it was acquired by the University of Illinois, where it was given the collections number "EC 302".
Overall measurements: 5 x 3 x 1 inches (12.7 x 7.6 x 2.5 cm).
Provenance: David Crawford [Hoppel # D1659]
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