CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A process in metallurgy, the separation of gold or silver from impurities by melting the impure metal in a cupel (crucible) and then directing a blast of hot air on it in a special furnace. The impurities, including lead, copper, tin, and other unwanted metals, are oxidized and partly vaporized and partly absorbed into the pores of the cupel. It is used to obtain silver by separating it from the lead with which it is naturally associated in argentiferous lead ores, or to obtain gold from the naturally occurring alloy of argentiferous gold (electrum).
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bounomos CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The ancient capital of King Archelaus of Macedonia at the end of the 5th century BC (until 168 BC) and birthplace of Alexander the Great. It is in northern Greece, northwest of Thessaloníki. The city flourished under Philip II, but, after the defeat of the last Macedonian king by the Romans (168 BC), it became a small provincial town. Excavations have revealed houses with colonnaded courts and rooms with mosaic floors made with small natural pebbles of various colors, dating from the late 4th century BC. The town had a rectangular grid plan; under the streets are terra-cotta pipes for distributing fresh water.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Three different sites: a town on the coast of Cyrenaica, Libya which was the site of Euhesperides; a port on the Egyptian coast of the Red Sea founded by Ptolemy II, especially important in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD; and Pella, Jordan, which was once known as Berenice.
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A white, lustrous metal valued for its decorative beauty and electrical conductivity. It is found nearly as early as copper and gold, in the form of beads, trinkets, and display vessels. The main source of this metal in antiquity was the leadore galena, in which silver sulfide occurs as an impurity. After smelting the ore, silver was recovered by the process of cupellation, where the lead is oxidized, leaving silver unaltered. Silver is soft and could be cold-worked but it was too soft for most purposes and was often alloyed with other metals, even in antiquity.