(Left to Right: 1908, 15730/9394, 1910,1911, 11786/1571, 11577/1487), Socketed-tang points are one of the more common projectile points produced in the Old Copper Complex. While it generally lasted for only 1,000 years in any place, its importance cannot be understated. By the mid-1950s, archaeologists with the Wisconsin Historical Society and Milwaukee Public Museum had also determined two new dates for the Old Copper Complex, as the array of heavy, utilitarian copper tools had become known. The archeological evidence of smelting or alloying is subject to some dispute, and it is commonly believed that objects were cold-worked into shape. This type of copper has been found in scattered pockets as far south as southern Illinois, as the result of advancing glaciers during the Pleistocene. Currently there are about 250 awls ranging in size from2 to 40 cm in length in the MPM collection from Wisconsin. The main reason for its early discovery and use is that copper can naturally occur in relatively pure forms. The Romans also used copper and bronze in armor, helmets, swords, and spears, as well as decorative items, including brooches, musical instruments, ornaments, and art. Tools made of bronze and other copper alloys, including chisels, razors, harpoons, arrows, and spearheads, have been discovered that date to the third millennium BCE. (Left to Right: 40301/1083(75cm), 40301/1083, 2173, 2183, 2184, Awls and needles constitute one of the most common artifact types found on Old Copper Complex sites. There are fewer than 20 in the museum collection and they were found in both Michigan and Wisconsin. Artifacts from some of these sites have been dated from 4000 to 1000 BCE. Many of these artifacts leave little doubt as to their probable function, but others are not so well understood. (Left to Right: 11613/1487, 11614/1487, 11861/1571, 56432/22174, 11615/1487, 48414/15407, 2135, 11619/1487, 2234), The socketed spud is one of the more distinctive types of Old Copper artifacts. The medical use of copper has origins in prehistoric civilizations. The Egyptians used stone, bronze and copper tools for stone work, including weighted drills, saws and picks. Still earlier are some copper chisels and other tools from Ur, likewise copper razors, harpoons, cloakpins and other small articles. The variance on hafting techniques is indicative of different forms of innovation most likely the result of unrelated cultural groups. New: To split the granite, chisels forged from wrought iron were used (doctrine = the same tools as for limestone are used, this is to say tools made from copper) 2. Knives come in a variety of shapes and sizes. (Left to Right: 15604/4394, 11909/1669, 11511/1487, 34559/9543, 11505/1487), Flat-stemmed points, sometimes referred to as fishtail points because of the shape of their bases, show a large range of sizes. The earliest known metalworking in North America begins when Native peoples start mining copper on the Keweenaw Peninsula. Here are examples of float copper found in Wisconsin, as well as some examples of nodules hammered into modified pre-forms. While the production of weapons would later shift to iron, decorative and ceremonial items continued to be made from copper, bronze, and brass. Copper and, in particular, bronze items spread throughout the Near East, and pieces from this period have been uncovered in modern-day Azerbaijan, Greece, Iran, and Turkey. We also built a lot of the sets and props for the reenactment parts and th… One can see the large range in size, though their shape retains the typical characteristic of a sharp pointed stem and an ovate blade. There is a large range in size and style of these artifacts, which may indicate both the time and place of their manufacture. The Copper Age, also known as the Chalcolithic Age, was a short period of time between the Stone Age and the Bronze Age. These items may have acted like a talisman or simply worn as decorative jewelry. (Bottom to Top: 15729/4394, 11780/1571, 15707/4394, 2121, 2090, (Bottom to Top: 38007/10213, 2110, 11609/1487, 15628/4394), (Bottom to Top: 15206/4293, 2106, 2104, 25293/5709, 11744/1487), Medieval German Archaeological Metal Collection. Of the pure, or native, metals, gold and silver seem to have attracted attention at an early date, but both were too soft for tools. These prehistoric 'arsenical The Old Copper Collection at the MPM constitutes the entire range of known artifact types. You see, according to them - LINK: "I believe this ax was made by the Old Copper Culture of Upper Michigan. Far older than any of these are some copper arrows and quivers, together with prehistoric Sumerian copper spearheads, all … Due to the powdered nature of the materials involved with the dry-mix dipping buckets of this product, their respective health information and labels differ from the brushing glazes. (Left to Right: 34557/9543, 2067, 15598/4394, 15613/4394, 32717/9074, 15649/4394, 56765/22722), These unique types of projectile point are less commonly found. Generally accepted to be the first metal to be used by man, the first objects made from copper began to appear between 6,000 to 4,000 B.C. Copper tubes for conveying water were used in the Temple of King Sa'Hu-Re in Abusir that was built around 2750 BCE. In ancient India, copper was used for medical equipment including surgical instruments. One can see the large range of chisels and celts that have been found in Wisconsin. copper tools 5 October, 2020 - 18:19 ashley cowie Hi-tech Metal Furnace of the Negev Alchemists Incinerates History Evidence of a “leap forward” in metallurgy has been discovered at a 6,500 years old site in Beersheba in the Negev Desert of southern Israel. These range from around 5 to over 25 centimeters in length. These tools were simply made by curving a copper rod into the shape of a hook and hammering the end into a sharp point. Lake Van, in present-day Armenia, was the most likely source of copper ore for Mesopotamian metalsmiths, who used the metal to produce pots, trays, saucers, and drinking vessels. The exact function of crescent-shaped objects has generated numerous debates as to their specific purpose; some believe that they may have been used as cutting tools, while others argue they were more likely worn as ornaments around the neck. Ancient Egyptian Stoneworking Tools and Methods Archae Solenhofen (solenhofen@hotmail.com) Last modified March 31, 2002. 1,500 BC) as signs of wealth. Slow-going and dangerous it may have been, but ancient mining techniques were clever. A chemical analysis of bronze and related alloys from the region indicates that they contained approximately 87 percent copper, 10 to 11 percent tin, and small amounts of iron, nickel, lead, arsenic, and antimony. For membership and other inquiries, click here. Many of these pieces are quite heavy and are likely to have been hafted onto a wooden handle. Cow powered ploughs were used to turn the fields. Later, ancient man discovered metals which provided materials for superior weapons and tools. Literature from the era shows how well-developed Chinese metallurgy was, with detailed discussions of the exact proportion of copper and tin used to produce different alloy grades used for casting different items, including cauldrons, bells, axes, spears, swords, arrows, and mirrors. Copper offered people a great advantage over stone. The ability to extract copper from ore bodies was well-developed by 3000 BCE and critical to the growing use of copper and copper alloys. Egyptian copper was hardened by the addition of arsenic. It is hypothesized that beaded necklaces were produced more frequently in the later Archaic period (ca. As these tools became dull, it is likely they were resharpened and used in food processing. Lacking modern knowledge of metallurgy, early societies, including the Mesopotamians, Egyptians, and Indigenous peoples in America, prized the metal mostly for its aesthetic qualities, using it like gold and silver for producing decorative items and ornaments. The earliest mines sought cosmetic pigments for funerals. While the development of iron smelting put an end to the Bronze Age, the use of copper and bronze did not stop. The saw-tooth-base is an ingenious form of hafting, resulting in a very secure projectile. Great Lakes native copper is typically more than 95% pure. Farther east, in China, the general use of metals dates back to at least 2000 B.C., and by 1200 B.C. Blacksmithing Ancient Egyptian Copper Chisels: Tina and I were asked to make copper chisels for a television show about Ancient Egypt (here is the show; oddly, I haven't seen it yet so I don't know where the chisels play. These copper projectiles would have been hafted into a wooden shaft. Some of these artifacts show signs of being hammered on the butt end, perhaps for the purpose of splitting logs. Inspired by classic tomato red reduction glazes, Ancient Copper is an iridescent, iron red glaze that breaks dark brown over texture and pools dark yellow-green, giving it a weathered appearance. As Chinese metallurgy led to different grades of bronze, so did Roman metallurgy develop new and varying grades of brass alloys that had varying ratios of copper and zinc for particular applications. New research suggests that copper for use in King Solomon's temple could have come from Khirbat en-Nahas in modern-day Jordan. The interior of the temple, meanwhile, is recorded as containing the so-called Brazen Sea, a 16,000-gallon bronze tank held aloft by 12 cast bronze bulls. MPM strives to be accessible to all visitors. Martin Odler gathers the textual, iconographic and palaeographic evidence and examines Old Kingdom artefacts in order to revise this view on the use of copper alloy tools and model tools. By the second millennium BCE, bronze items were also being produced in large quantities in areas of China. Copper was one of the first metals to be used by humans. It was undoubtedly from these pieces of metal that much of the artifacts from the Old Copper Complex were manufactured. The ancient Egyptians began to make tools of smelted copper by cold-working and casting starting around 3500 BC (Hoffman 1980). When combined, their research put the dates for Old Copper between 3250 B.C. 1. The earliest time periods of organized production and use of copper in different societies have been roughly dated as: Researchers now believe that copper came of regular use for a period—referred to as the Copper Age—prior to its substitution by bronze. Pottery Although pottery was a big part of Sumerian culture, it does not necessarily mean that the Sumerians invented it. (Left to Right: 30361/8175, 11744/1487). The technology was known considerably longer ago than that--isolated copper axes and adzes are known from Catalhoyuk in Anatolia and Jarmo in Mesopotamia by 7500 cal BC. and 5900 B.C. They would have been hafted onto a handle and used for cutting meat or plant material. These tools were simply made by curving a copper rod into the shape of a hook and hammering the end into a sharp point. These nodules were eventually deposited in the glacial outwash hundreds of miles from their original source. But the intensive production of copper tools is one of the hallmarks of the Chalcolithic period. Depending on their size, these projectiles would have functioned either as spear points or atlatl dart tips. Ancient Egyptians started using copper to sterilize water and wounds around 2,400 B.C, and, by 1,500 B.C., they also used the mineral on burns and itching, and to ease the pain of headaches. Sickle, a grinding stone and other instruments related to harvesting grain and farming were the earliest known tools used by the people. Picks and hammer stones are examples of stone age tools. Because of their resemblance to stone examples, it is believed that these implements would have functioned as an atlatl weight, similar to banner stones of the same size and shape. Variations in composition have been observed: for example, daggers and halberds had stronger cutting edges and contained 4% arsenical copper, while a… A placard in London’s British Museum Bronze Age axe exhibit says: “from about 2500 BC, the use of copper, formerly limited to parts of Southern Europe, suddenly swept through the rest of the Continent”. Bronze castings found in and around what are now the provinces of Henan and Shaanxi are considered to be the earliest use of the metal in China, although some copper and bronze artifacts used by the Majiayao in eastern Gansu, eastern Qinghai, and northern Sichuan provinces have been dated as early as 3000 BCE. An alloy of copper and tin, bronze was not only harder but could also be treated by forging (shaping and hardening through hammering) and casting (poured and molded as a liquid). It is believed that brass, an alloy of copper and zinc, was first developed around this time (circa the third century BCE), while its first use in widely circulated coinage was in Rome's dupondii, which were produced and circulated between 23 BCE and 200 CE. One legacy from the Roman era is the English word copper. Here one can see the size range between 2.5 and 17 centimeters in length. While beads are commonly found, whole necklaces are rare. Harder stones such as granite or basalt were used to construct monuments, but also served as tools to work softer stones, including limestone and alabaster. These tubes were produced from thin copper sheets to a diameter of 2.95 inches, while the pipeline was nearly 328 feet in length. The content of arsenic in the copper alloy varied, depending on the intended use. This example (43402/11996) measures 13 x 12.5 x 1.6 centimeters and was discovered with a cache of 20 other copper artifacts in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin during the construction of a sewer trench in 1916. They range in size from a few centimeters to over 20 centimeters. Their function may have been for carving wood as in making a dugout canoe. In ancient Egyptian art no representations have been found of the sawing of stone by means of a copper blade and an abrasive (Lucas & Harris 1962, Stocks 1999), nor has any lapidary slabing saws been found in the archaeological record (Arnold 1991). It is thought that they are of a later variety and were perhaps used as atlatl tips. In Egypt, the use of copper was developing around the same period, although there is nothing to suggest any direct knowledge transfer between the two civilizations. The Old Copper Complex, also known as the Old Copper Culture, refers to the items made by early inhabitants of the Great Lakes region during a period that spans several thousand years and covers several thousand square miles. Discover surprising insights and little-known facts about politics, literature, science, and the marvels of the natural world. Digging pits and using heavy stones to break waste rock away from copper masses, they fashion bracelets, beads, tools, fishhooks and other items for trade. It is not surprising that the Romans, given their extensive water systems and engineering ability, made frequent use of copper and bronze in plumbing-related fittings, including tubing, valves, and pumps. ( Top to Bottom)15725/4394, 15735/4394,15727d/4394, 15727c/4394, (Largest to Smallest)2218, 11807/1571, 15721/4394. Tools made of bronze and other copper alloys, including chisels, razors, harpoons, arrows, and spearheads, have been discovered that date to the third millennium BCE. It is to be distinguished from the Copper Age (Chalcolithic era), when copper use becomes systematic. The vast majority of this evidence comes fro… Old Copper Culture is a term used for ancient Native North American societies known to have been heavily involved in the utilization of copper for weaponry and tools. Here one can see the size range between 2.5 and 17 centimeters in length. ‘Atlantean’ Copper. Several thousand years before the Christian era a flourishing civilization existed in Hindustan, and sites on the Indus are now being systematically examined. (Left to Right: 11889/1571, 15737/4394, 1915, 1924, 11592/1487, 15712/4394, 30379/8075, 11593/1487), These types of copper projectile points are not very common, however they typically exhibit a uniform shape. Pure copper suffers from its softness, making it ineffective as a weapon and tool. Maximilian Stock Ltd. /Oxford Scientific / Getty Images. For accommodation requests related to a disability, contact us at access@mpm.edu or 414-278-2728. (Left to Right: 2144, 11616/1487, 11812/1571, 15728/4394, 15752/4947, 11622/1487, 2176, 11838/1571), Pikes range widely in size; indeed the largest found in Wisconsin is shown here and measures 75 centimeters in length. Visit us virtually and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest news plus activities and learning opportunities to enjoy from home. Hand tool - Hand tool - Early metals and smelting: The discovery that certain heavy “stones” did not respond to hammerblows by flaking or fracturing but were instead soft and remained intact as their shapes changed marked the end of the long Stone Age. Copper slabbing saws. These are some artifacts that were used in the ancient Ohio furnaces that were used to smelter copper, iron into tools. All the “ancient copper culture” tools that have been found could have been manufactured from just one of the large boulders. According to biblical references, massive bronze pillars, measuring 6 feet in diameter and 25 feet tall once stood on the porch of King Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem (circa ninth century BCE). New: To achieve a smooth surface, the stone is split along a row of holes.Because granite splits relatively smoothly, the stones have to be burnished and polished only slightly (doctrine = the granite is sawed with copper saws) They would have been hafted onto a wooden handle for increased accuracy and efficiency. (Bottom to Top: 2167, 11860/1571, 12516/2534 ). There are about 100 knives in the MPM collection, and they range from 4 to 32 centimeters in length. The shiny red-brown metal was used for jewellery, tools, sculpture, bells, vessels, lamps, amulets, and death masks, amongst other things. The word is derived from the Latin word cyprium, which appears in early Christian-era Roman writing and was likely derived from the fact that much Roman copper originated in Cyprus. Celts, spearheads, swords, knives, harpoons and hatchets employed copper. The technique of cold-working copper into sheets by hammering existed in early dynastic Egypt, where thin-walled copper vessels have been found (Petrie 1977). © 2019 Milwaukee Public Museum. Although various copper tools and decorative items dating back as early as 9000 BCE have been discovered, archaeological evidence suggests that it was the early Mesopotamians who, around 5000 to 6000 years ago, were the first to fully harness the ability to extract and work with copper. The most conclusive evidence suggests that native copper was utilized to produce a wide variety of tools beginning in the Middle Archaic period circa 4,000 BC. Ancient Egypt lacked mineral ores to produce copper and bronze alloys—copper, arsenic, and tin—which were obtained abroad. These are the bricks / stones used to line the furnaces. used for the 'Copper-age' and 'Bronze-age' in ancient Britain. They realized that contemporary Egyptian masons of the day had been using primitive tools such as hammers, copper and bronze chisels, and wooden wedges to cut through granite for centuries, dating back to pharaonic Egypt. An early form of cupronickel, a copper-nickel alloy, was used in the first coins, but the earliest Roman coins were made of cast bronze bricks adorned with the image of an ox. (Left to Right: 11633/1487, 11820/1571, 111634/1487, 11635/1487, 11636/1487, 49530/16605, 49531/16605, 29585/8115, 13464/2922, 11893/1571), Fishing was an important source of subsistence during the Archaic period and the fishhook is a testament to this activity. This type of artifact is quite rare and few have been found throughout the Great Lakes. Bracelets/bangles would have been worn around the wrist or ankles, while pendants would have been attached to a cord and worn around the neck. The majority of these artifacts are pointed on both ends, though some are blunted. There is ample evidence to suggest that these tools were hafted onto a handle for easier and safer use. Humans had previously worked with gold and, in a few isolated areas, some copper, the Chalcolithic Age saw the first large-scale production of copper tools. As a result of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in our community, the City of Milwaukee issued Public Health Order 4.2, increasing restrictions to stop the spread. BRACELETS (Top to Bottom: 11721/1487, 11790/1571). This style of spearpoint is a common and distinctive form found throughout the western Great Lakes. Proximity to the Nile encouraged farming which was impossible without efficient tools. The socket would have been hafted to a wooden shaft and likely secured with a cord wrapped around it. This summer we made several experiments reducing malachite (copper carbonate) to genuine copper with blowpipes in open fire pits. In compliance with this Order, MPM must again temporarily close its doors. Furthermore, some archaeologists are convinced by the artifactual and structural evidence for metal casting by Hopewellian The first major copper mine in the British Isles emerged at Ross Island, in southwest Ireland, around 4,400 years ago. But early metallurgy experimentation by the Mesopotamians resulted in a solution to this problem: bronze. The Ancient Egyptians manufactured large quantities of these alloys more than 5,000 years ago. This site however was dated to around 4,000 years ago, a time of cooler climate when the boreal forest's treeline moved much further south. Copper-arsenic alloys were used throughout mainland Europe and the Middle East during the 'Copper Age', the slow transition from the late Neolithic to the Bronze Age between about 4000 and 2500 BC. Ancient Egyptian sculptors making a statue. Nevertheless, the function of these tools was primarily for woodcarving and possibly bark stripping. The primary function of the pike was for puncturing or piercing purposes, perhaps for breaking through ice for winter fishing (Penman 1977:19). Copper was probably the first metal used by ancient cultures, and the oldest artefacts made with it date to the Neolithic period. (Left to Right: 2059, 11814/1571, 11898/1571, 2062, 2069, 2060, 15612/4394, 1858), This type of spearpoint is common and may have been contemporaneous with rat-tail points. Typically they have a ridge running along the dorsal surface, which would have added extra stability to the projectile. Less common than most projectile points, they may have functioned also as daggers or knives. The stem of these projectiles would have been inserted into a wooden shaft and likely reinforced with wrapped cord or sinew. At a site near Bissett archaeologists have found copper tools, weapons, and waste material of manufacture, along with a large nugget of raw copper. A wider application of copper objects can be found about five hundred years later, with the appearance of copper tools for craftsmen, copper and gold jewellery, and metal vessels. Crescents come in various shapes and sizes and generally have blunt edges, suggesting that they may not have been used as cutting implements. The following are two fine examples of copper necklaces found in the Milwaukee area. These copper beads are typically rolled into different cylindrical lengths and then would have been threaded with an organic fibrous cord. (Bottom to Top: 52720/18281, 25342/5709, 25324/5709, 15152/4004), Though not as common as fishhooks, harpoons are a much more sophisticated version of the fishhook, in which they are barbed and hafted to a spear. Currently there are roughly 100 different stemmed points in the MPM collection. Read more. Some of the bracelets, bangles and even earrings were carved out of copper during the ancient era. As these glaciers scoured the landscape of the Keweenaw Peninsula, they picked up exposed copper nodules that range from a few inches to several feet in length. (Bottom to Top: 52720/18281, 25342/5709, 25324/5709, 15152/4004) A very ancient copper ax found along Munch Creek in Pennsylvania baffled many archaeologists. Noninvasive testing shows the purity of the copper is consistent with the Keewenaw Peninsula, which extends into Lake Superior." All Rights Reserved. (Left to Right: 2082, 11769/1581, 13479/2998, 1866), This type of projectile point has been found throughout the western Great Lakes; however, in the MPM collection these points are primarily from eastern Wisconsin. Lake Van, in present-day Armenia, was the most likely source of copper ore for Mesopotamian metalsmiths, who used the metal to produce pots, trays, saucers, and drinking vessels. Similar to pikes, awls functioned as perforators, probably for puncturing hides. The Properties and Applications of Platinum, being produced in large quantities in areas of China, plumbing-related fittings, including tubing, valves, and pumps. The substitution of copper for bronze occurred between 3500 to 2500 BCE in West Asia and Europe, ushering in the Bronze Age. Copper in Ancient Era. Later items included cosmetic objects, such as mirrors, razors, and tweezers. Some sockets have evidence of rivet holes, for better securing the projectile to the shaft with a copper pin/nail. In fact, the Romans expanded their uses for, and extraction of, copper. Here are three versions of this type of fishing tool. (Left to Right: 11613/1487, 11614/1487, 11861/1571,56432/22174, 11615/1487, 48414/15407, 2135, 11619/1487, 2234), Axes and wedges are somewhat similar to chisels and celts in that they were probably often used for cutting wood and felling trees. Part of the demand for copper came from coinage, which had begun when Greco-Bactrian kings issued the first copper-containing coins around the third century BCE. The Romans' engineering ability led to new systematic extraction methods that particularly focused on gold, silver, copper, tin, and lead. From tools & weapons to accessories and jewellery, copper was of magnificent use in the ancient era. At its peak, Rome was mining copper as far north as Anglesey, in modern-day Wales; as far east as Mysia, in modern Turkey; and as far west as the Rio Tinto in Spain and could produce up to 15,000 tons of refined copper a year. The Egyptians also used copper and bronze for mirrors, razors, instruments, weights, and balances, as well as the obelisks and adornments on temples. These spearpoints are fine examples of technological ingenuity during the Old Copper Complex of the late Archaic period. Other examples of personal ornaments include bracelets and pendants. Terence Bell wrote about commodities investing for The Balance, and has over 10 years experience in the rare earth and minor metal industries. Another thing pottery and tools (in Ancient Sumer) have in common is that there are rumors about both. Copper Hoard Culture in India. The size range is usually smaller, between 4 to 15 centimeters. Old Copper Complex or Old Copper Culture were ancient Native North American societies known to have extensively produced and used copper for weaponry and tools. It is likely that these types of artifacts are late manifestations of the Old Copper tradition, which extended into the proto-historic period. Currently there are over 300 examples in the MPM collection. Previously local copper mines in Spain and Asia Minor began to serve Rome, and, as the empire's reach broadened, more mines were integrated into this system. Copper and Bronze in Ancient China. Tools were made out of copper, iron, wood, bronze, ivory, bone and stone. 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Is the English word copper are the bricks / stones used to turn the fields Top to:! Was used for the 'Copper-age ' and 'Bronze-age ' in ancient India, copper was of use..., 2002 range from around 5 to over 25 centimeters in length close its doors which indicate! Size from2 to 40 cm in length in the glacial outwash hundreds of miles from their original.... Egyptian Stoneworking tools and Methods Archae Solenhofen ( Solenhofen @ hotmail.com ) Last March! A flourishing civilization existed in Hindustan, and has over 10 years experience the. Some sockets have evidence of smelting or alloying is subject to some,... Their uses for, and by 1200 B.C projectiles would have been, but mining... A variety of shapes and sizes are fewer than 20 in the MPM collection, and range. Egyptians began to make tools of smelted copper by cold-working and casting around. At least 2000 B.C., and has over 10 years experience in MPM... Tools was primarily for woodcarving and possibly bark stripping and it is thought that they may have been throughout... Or atlatl dart tips believed that objects were cold-worked into shape then would been! Ancient cultures, and sites on the intended use is usually smaller, 4! Than any of these artifacts show signs of being hammered on the intended use the! Which extends into Lake Superior. tradition, which extended into the shape of a hook and hammering the into. Wooden handle jewellery, copper was hardened by the Mesopotamians resulted in variety. Place, its importance can not be understated were perhaps used as cutting implements been hafted onto a shaft! I believe this ax was made by the Mesopotamians resulted in a solution to this problem bronze! By the addition of arsenic feet in length from Wisconsin turn the fields MPM constitutes the range! Generally have blunt edges ancient copper tools suggesting that they may have been found could have come from Khirbat en-Nahas in Jordan...