Comparison Between Egyptian and American Metallurgy
|Criteria||Egyptian Metallurgy||American Old West Metallurgy|
|Achievements||Mining became one of the principal ventures in the American West, and large companies developed new technology and revolutionalized the industry as we know it today|
|Ownership of Mines||Metals were entirely monopolies of the State, the management of mines and quarries being entrusted to the highest officials and sometimes even to the sons of the Pharaoh, metallurgical practice were of extreme importance to the State and were carefully guarded from the vulgar.||- In the mid 19th century California was a peculiarly lawless place, there was no civil legislature, executive or judicial body.
In the mines there was no licensing fees and no taxes, the gold and metals were "free for the taking"
- Individual prospectors and mining companies
|Main metal ores||- Ancient gold |
- Galena was mined in Egypt at Gebel Rasas, a few miles from the Red Sea coast
- Lead - though it never found extensive application, was among the earliest metals known, specimen having been found in graves of Pre-Dynastic Period.
- Iron - was known in Egypt from the early Dynastic Period but there is no neat progression to an Iron Age, Egyptians took a long time to begin using iron extensively. It was not used for decorative, religious or symbolical purposes, due to the fact that it rusts.
- Tin - was used in the manufacture of bronze. Cobalt has been detected as a coloring agent in certain specimens of glass and glaze. Neither metal occurs naturally in Egypt, and it seems probable that supplies of tin and cobalt ores were imported from Persia.
|- Gold -In 1848, when gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill. As news of the discovery spread, some 300,000 people came to California "The California Gold Rush"
- Copper, zinc, borax, and coal
|Techniques||Metallurgy was carried on with an elaborate technique, later adopted by Assyrians and Babylonians||- Individuals were unable to afford large investments in technology and used wooden sluices
- Large companies adopted hydraulic mining, which used powerful water jets to break the earth.
|Miners||The quarries employed slaves and forced labor, with a callous disregard for the human conditions||- Some individual prospectors and companies made fortunes.
- Mining and human conditions were inadequate, but gradually improved
|Settlements||- Copper quarries were on the deserts of Sinai |
- Ancient gold was mined in the Eastern deserts of Nubia
- No permanent or important settlements emerged from this industry which was located in remote areas and employed forced labor
|- Mining settlements developed into towns and cities, one of the largest being San Francisco.
- In most cases when mining production declined, mines were abandoned producing numerous ghost towns, such as Ashcroft in Colorado.
|Environmental Effects||Deserts mines had no effect on Nile valley environment||Native Americans were attacked and pushed off traditional lands, and mining caused environmental harm, large amounts of gravel and silt, in addition to heavy metals and other pollutants, went into streams and rivers|