8.5 C
Pakistan
Monday, February 26, 2024

NASA still making the most of the 6,000-year-old amulet discovered in Pakistan

Must read

Suhail Yusuf
Suhail Yusufhttps://scientiamag.org
Suhail Yusuf is a science journalist with more than twenty years of experience in both Urdu and English science journalism. He is currently serving as feature editor in Express-News.
The image of the 6,000 years old amulet was discovered from Mehrgarh. PHOTO COURTESY: D. Bagault, C2RMF

A small amulet discovered from the ruins of Mehrgarh, an archaeological site in Balochistan, has been declared as the oldest known lost-wax cast object and its technology is still being used in the world, including by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), to manufacture different metallic objects.

According to a PAPER published in NATURE COMMUNICATIONS – a well-cited primary research journal – the wood-wheel-shaped amulet is the first ever example of “lost-wax casting” still in practice.

The imperfect-shaped amulet looks green and rusty and was discovered in 1985 by Jean-François Jarrige, a French archaeologist who uncovered a Neolithic Mehrgarh site located near Sibi. But the discovery remained in the dark until it was shined by state-of-the-art lighting and imaging techniques.

The image shows the remains of mysterious Mehrgarh located near Sibi, Balochistan.
PHOTO COURTESY: C. Jarrige, Mission Archéologique de l’Indus

By analyzing the light bounce back from the 2cm-wide amulet, physicist Mathieu Thoury from the French Synchrotron, and his colleagues concluded that the object was carved in a single piece, adding that they did not find any soldering parts even at the joints of the rods. Scientists observed the emitting lights from the amulet shows it was made by pure copper melted at 1,085 degrees Centigrade.

The lost wax casting method

Mehrgarh’s craftsmen used a simple but innovative way to mold the metals in their desired shape. First, they made a copy of the object with any material having a low melting point, most probably a lump of beeswax; encased it in soft clay to form a mold, which was then heated or baked to harden.

NEGLECTED ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES

Finally, the molted metal, such as copper, was poured which melted the wax replaced the metal. After the cooling process and smashing the clay model, they got their once-piece metal object. This process is also called “investment casting” and is still used in the making of delicate jewelry and small parts of space crafts.

With some advancement, the process was also used to create parts of the Messenger spacecraft which orbited Mercury between 2011 and 2015. It is also used to make numerous metallic parts of the International Space Station.

Speaking to Express News, the key author of the paper, Mathieu Thoury, said: “It is a first discovery which shows the major metallurgy method of lost-wax cast and may have been adopted by other civilisations later on – such as Mesopotamia.”

According to the author, the amulet was carved from pure copper found in native areas.

Mehrgarh – the home of innovation

Mehrgarh was a remarkable site where according to some reports, first-ever dentists were found, and cotton was weaved for the first time. In April 2006, a team of French scholars revealed that the Stone Age man used flint drills for boring teeth some 9,000 years ago. French archaeologist Christophe Moulherat and his colleague analyzed a total of 11 drilled teeth collected from a Mehrgarh graveyard.

In 2002, Moulherat discovered several threads preserved by mineralisation, which are the earliest known examples of cotton thread. The cotton fibres were preserved in copper beads and the study suggested that Mehrgarh was home for textile making.

Sadly, much of the part of this important site has been destroyed due to tribal clashes.

The article was originally published in Express Tribune and re-sharing on the permission of author Suhail Yusuf.

Baluchistan Sphinx; Is it a human-made rock-cut Archaeological marvel?

- Advertisement -spot_img

More articles

22 COMMENTS

  1. Hi there, I found your web site by the use of Google while searching for a similar subject, your web site came up, it looks good.
    I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
    Hello there, just turned into aware of your blog through Google, and located that
    it’s really informative. I am going to be careful for brussels.

    I will be grateful when you proceed this in future.
    Many people might be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  2. I think that is among the most significant information for me.

    And i’m happy studying your article. However want to observation on some basic things, The site taste is great, the articles is truly great : D.
    Just right activity, cheers

  3. May I just say what a comfort to uncover someone that genuinely knows what they are talking about
    over the internet. You definitely know how to
    bring a problem to light and make it important. A
    lot more people ought to look at this and understand this side
    of your story. I was surprised you aren’t more popular because you definitely
    possess the gift.

  4. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.

    I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a
    bit, but other than that, this is wonderful blog. An excellent read.

    I’ll definitely be back.

  5. I have been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or weblog
    posts in this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this site.
    Reading this information So i am satisfied to show
    that I’ve a very just right uncanny feeling I found out just what I needed.
    I so much certainly will make certain to don?t
    omit this website and provides it a look regularly.

  6. You actually make it appear really easy together with your presentation however I to find this topic
    to be actually one thing that I feel I might never understand.
    It seems too complex and very large for me. I’m taking
    a look ahead on your subsequent publish, I’ll
    try to get the grasp of it!

  7. Just want to say your article is as astonishing.
    The clarity in your post is simply great and i can assume you
    are an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission allow me
    to grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post.
    Thanks a million and please keep up the rewarding work.

  8. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital to assert
    that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently
    quickly.

  9. What’s Taking place i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve discovered It absolutely useful and it has aided
    me out loads. I am hoping to give a contribution & aid different customers like its helped me.

    Great job.

Comments are closed.

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest article