• latw-15-1
    Terracotta bellows nozzle. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • latw-15-2
    Terracotta bellows nozzle. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • latw-15-3
    Terracotta bellows nozzle. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • latw-15-4
    Terracotta bellows nozzle. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)

Terracotta Bellows Nozzle

Date
First half of the sixth century BC, Lydian
Museum
Inventory No.
Sardis CATNUM
T97.006
Material
Terracotta
Object Type
Miscellaneous
Site
Sardis
Sector
PN
Description
Terracotta nozzle of coarse clay. “Four joining pieces forming complete squarish outer and round inner section of a flat-faced tapering nozzle. Intense heating has melted away some of the tip, which is grossly misshapen with bits of vitrification adhering. Extensive scoriation and vitrification are evident on three sides, including blobs of glass containing minute beads of gold at the narrower end” (Ramage and Craddock 2000, 223). Height 0.052 m, width 0.059-0.068 m, length 0.076 m, diameter of air tube 0.03 x 0.022 m.
Comments
This crude and burned fragment of terracotta is apparently part of a tuyere, or bellows nozzle, for blowing air onto a fire to raise the heat for refining gold. It has obviously been heated to extreme temperatures. Found in one of the cupellation areas of the refinery at Sardis, it could have been attached to a cloth or leather bellows and used to raise the temperature in the cupels, where the mixture of lead and silver was heated to extract the silver, in addition to refining gold (attested by the globules fused to it; see Greenewalt, “Gold and Silver Refining”). For a bronze pipe nozzle from near Güre, perhaps associated with jewelry manufacture, see No. 188.
Discussed
Greenewalt, “Gold and Silver Refining”
Bibliography
Hanfmann 1983, 39, fig. 57; Ramage and Craddock 2000, 223 no. 1.
Author
NDC