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heptagon_ru

TFC in Harry Harrison's "Stonehenge"

3 posts in this topic

Found another nice quotation about metallurgy from a book (in addition to Jules Verne's one).

This time - from Harry Harrison's "Stonehenge", which is actually about Greek and Atlantis warriors fighting over a tin mine to be able to produce bronze.

"

It was a war over a resource as precious as the one that names our own Petrochemical Age. Not oil, but tin. Without tin,
there could have been no Bronze Age. For at the very dawn of metallurgy it was evident that copper alone was too soft to
make durable tools and weapons. Tin was essential, but almost impossible to find. Yet when combined at a proportion of
one to nine, it transforms the abundant, more malleable copper into hardened bronze. Too much tin, and the bronze is
too brittle, like the raw hardening agent itself; too little, and the bronze is too soft, like the copper it melds with. But it
is scarce; the more so for the ancients, who didn't dig deeply for it as we do, but who searched for nodules of cassiterite in
naturally open tin streams. There are none of those nut-like nodules of tin oxide left anymore, the surface of the earth
having been picked clean a long time ago.

"

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10 minutes ago, heptagon_ru said:

 "There are none of those nut-like nodules of tin oxide left anymore, the surface of the earth having been picked clean a long time ago."

Exactly like near-spawn area :)

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This is one reason why Great Britain was strategically important - (relatively) large deposits of tin in the South West.

So much so that they were known as the "Tin Isles" by some in Roman times.

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