Identification of Fazael 2 (4000–3900 BCE) as first lost wax casting workshop in the Chalcolithic Southern Levant

Thomas Rose, Shay Bar, Yotam Assher, Yuval Goren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Apart from many lost wax cast metal fragments, crucible fragments and several heated sediment nodules were found at the Chalcolithic site Fazael 2 (central Jordan Valley). Petrographic investigations on the heated sediment nodules revealed many features characteristic of the Chalcolithic Southern Levantine lost wax casting moulds. Heating temperatures were assessed using infrared spectroscopy, showing that casting did not vitrify the clay fraction in the moulds. Consequently, Fazael is the first identified Chalcolithic Southern Levant production site for lost wax cast metal items. These findings confirm the existence of a metallurgical tradition with lost wax casting in the Jordan Valley parallel to the unalloyed copper metallurgy in the Northern Negev. Moreover, crucibles and heated sediment nodules are made of local ferruginous loess, a material not mentioned in previous studies on lost wax casting mould fragments. Therefore, the existence of more than one such production site must be assumed.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number192
JournalHeritage Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2023


  • Chalcolithic
  • Crucible
  • Fazael
  • Lost wax casting
  • Metallurgy
  • Mould
  • Petrography
  • Southern Levant

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Conservation
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Archaeology
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Archaeology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Spectroscopy


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