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Sergey Venezky



Gifts Anatolian hills. - "The magnificent seven". - Stone age descends from the stage. - The boiler from the tomb. - What did Hephaestus? - Vessel found near Baghdad. - An irreparable loss. - Events in the port. - On the instructions of the Pharaoh. - Wonder of the world in recycling? - For the statue of Liberty. - Musical abilities. - The priests-the alchemists. - "Take the goat cheese ..." - circles under the eyes. - "Gun house". - A good "trip". - The Church part with the bells. - The knight's move. - In the steppes of Kazakhstan. - "Dawn" crisscrossing the ocean. - The roof of the Royal Palace. - "Copper rebellion". - The nose had nothing to do with. - Treasure gray Urals. - Where fell the antelope? - A billion years ago. - It's in the bag. - Delicious necklace. - Violets prefer zinc. - Great vision at a distance. - Tricks of copper ore. - Blue blood? - "Anticalin". - Gnomes at work.

In the early 50-ies English archaeologist James Mellaart excavated in the Anatolian plateau in Turkey. Findings were little, and the scientist decided to stop seeking. Leaving Anatolia, Mellaart didn't know if he will return here someday. And of course he could not assume that just a few years later he was here to make a discovery, which experts describe as a sensation in the world of archaeology. Yet no-no and will pop up in memory archaeologist two big hills in the valley of Konya, which he never did. Something drove him back to where among saline steppes rose the hills, which bore the name has been Hyuk.

And then in the autumn of 1958 Mellaart again came here and together with colleagues began excavations East of the hill has been Hyouka. And what? Findings fell down, one after the other. The hill seemed in a hurry to part with his secret, which he had kept for many centuries. It turned out that there was a settlement of ancient farmers and ranchers. Radiocarbon analysis allowed to determine the existence of this settlement: about 6500-5700 BC Eight and a half millennia! Such a great age has been Hyouka could not cause a huge interest in this monument to the Neolithic era.

Soon archaeologists launched here systematic work, and luck is not forced to wait for yourself: were found well preserved huts, homes, household items. Have been generous Chatal-Hyuk and works of art of the ancient masters: wall colorful murals, bas-reliefs, elegant statuettes, pottery. But still the greatest scientific value, perhaps, had not they, but little copper things found on one of the lower (and therefore the earliest) horizons excavations: small silica, tiny beads and tubes, which served as the jewelry for women clothing. These ugly-looking corroded and green particles of copper were ancient at the time of metal products that are found on our planet.

At first Mellaart suggested that copper, which served as the local residents of material for their craft, was of native origin. But Chatal-Hyuk prepared for archaeologists and historians metallurgy another surprise: the workers, who conducted excavations have been met with the same lower layers on a piece of copper smelting slag. Therefore, the master has been Hyouka could not only handle native copper, but also to melt the metal from the ore.

This discovery was of great importance to science. Although soon after the events described above to the East of Konya valley in the upper reaches of the Tigris river a group of American and Turkish archaeologists found the remains of an ancient settlement, with traces of copper and copper ore, which was about five centuries older than Chatal-Hyouka, this two-humped hill Anatolian plateau, moving almost three millennia in ancient times the assumed boundary occurrence in the Earth metallurgy, entered the history of archaeology as one of the most remarkable pages.

Why copper was the first metal trapped in the hands of man? Why she was destined to play such an important role in the development of human society?

Together with gold, silver, iron, tin, lead and mercury, copper is included in "the magnificent seven" metals known to man since time immemorial. Of the seven oldest of only three metals - gold, silver and copper, are to be found on Earth in the native state. But gold and silver were our ancestors rarely, and copper are much more often, sometimes in the form of a very solid nuggets. So, in the middle of the last century in the Great lakes region (North America), was found in a cluster of large copper blocks weighing approximately 400 tons. On the surface of the metal traces of stone axes, with which even during the Neolithic people beat blocks from pieces of copper to use it for their needs.

And the need for this metal was considerable. Advantages of copper before the stone as a material for tools, weapons, household items was so obvious that the ancient farmer, rancher or hunter could not see them. Why: metal relatively easily changed form, it could flatten, sharpen the edges, to make a hole. Copper began to besiege the position of the stone and soon firmly established in the life of primitive people: the stone age passed the powers of the copper age.

Stone age gave way to copperGradually accumulating experience in the processing of copper, the man reached in this case is notable successes, as indicated by the extant copper products of the ancient masters. In the tomb of one of the pharaohs of Egypt, who lived about the middle of the third Millennium BC, was found in a large pot, made from a sheet of rolled copper.

After that people have learned to smelt copper and cast from her simple products. And although the oldest known archaeologists copper casting - axe goes back almost six thousand years, we must assume that really the technique of casting people mastered only after "passed a course of hot metal.

By this time, already in many places around the globe mined copper ore and out of smelted copper. Special fame enjoyed by the mines of the island of Cyprus, which, as I believe, copper and owes its Latin name "cuprum". The Russian word "copper", according to some scientists, comes from the word "SMID" - so the tribes inhabiting once the European part of our country, called every metal.

Mention of copper can be found in the earliest literary sources. Homer describes in the Iliad, as the ancient God-worker Hephaestus the blacksmith by profession - molds copper victorious shield hero of the Trojan war Achilles: "he is in the fire rapidassist copper necrosia plunged..." According to ancient Greek mythology, the Titan Prometheus stole from the gods of fire and gave it to the people, was by order of Zeus chained to a rock with a copper chain.

Copper in ancient times was known not only in heaven but also on the sinful earth, and sometimes this metal was given a rather unusual role. In 30-ies of our century during excavations under the Baghdad German archaeologists have found a strange earthen vessel, inside which there was a hollow copper cylinder with heavily corroded iron rod. Researchers who studied Baghdad discovery, came to the bold conclusion: this device, in which the ancient Arabs poured alkaline solution, served as a source of electric current and was used by ancient jewelers for electrolytic gold plating of metal products. If this version is correct, it means that the first galvanic cell created electrotechnique" Mesopotamia for two thousand years before the experiments of Galvani and Volta.

According to scientists, Egyptologists, in the second Millennium BC metallurgy of copper reached in Egypt solid scales: in the country at that time there were at least a thousand copper smelting furnaces. But then, as evidenced by the numerous historical documents, the production of this metal fell sharply. Did the Egyptians not need copper? Recently this mystery was solved: archaeological excavations have shown that the ancient Egyptian copper industry has suffered from... energy crisis in those ancient times this region. Used as fuel for the smelting furnaces palm trees and white acacia trees that grew along the banks in the Nile Delta, were completely cut down and burned. The loss was irreparable, and the copper is gone.

Copper has made a significant contribution to the development of material culture, but even more important was destined to play the alloy of copper with tin - bronze. This remarkable alloy has the advantages of pure copper: greater hardness and strength, elasticity, edge, less susceptible to corrosion, better fills the mold. After a brief era of copper on the planet reigned in the bronze age.

People met bronze, apparently, in the fourth Millennium BC: it dates back to the earliest scientists bronze tools found in Iran, Turkey, Mesopotamia. However, the name of the bronze was received much later. One of the oldest seaports of Italy Brindisi in ancient times (then it was called Brundisium) was the final item on the Appian way, along which the port has been mined in the copper country in various fields. This was the beginning of the path of this metal in many States. But copper was rarely pure; typically, the metal was an alloy of copper with tin. It could happen naturally during the melting process, because in those fields, where he was "born" copper, it is usually accompanied tin. In addition, the port constantly visited the Greek court, carrying the tin from the British Isles; it is likely that local metallurgists noticed that the alloy of the two metals whose paths crossed in Brandisii, has good properties, and mastered mass production. Soon this alloy - copper of Brandise" (Latin for "es Brindisi") everywhere began to call bronze.

A curious picture of the technological process of making castings of bronze found in an Egyptian tomb Dating to the middle of the second Millennium B.C., Three workers (must be slaves, because they are observed by a guard with a stick) bring the metal to the furnace, where melting occurs. Visible melting crucibles, a handful of charcoal basket in which he delivered in "the foundry". Two workers, serving bottles, and the third with "poker" bred and support the fire in the furnace. Using two rods working remove the crucible with molten bronze from the furnace and transferred to a mold - here is the casting. The ancient artist was accompanied by drawings in the text: the characters explain that depicts the casting of large bronze doors for the Cathedral, and the metal on the orders of Pharaoh brought from Syria.

Long bronze loved by the sculptors. Time has preserved for us a magnificent bronze sculptures, born many centuries ago, "Marcus Aurelius", "Thrower", "Sleeping Satyr" and others. Some bronze statues differed giant size. At the beginning of III century BC was created, for example. The colossus of Rhodes - the landmark of the ancient port on the island of Rhodes in the Aegean sea. This 32-metre statue of the Sun God Helios, which overlooked the entrance to the Harbor, was considered one of the seven wonders of the world. Unfortunately, the Grand creation of the sculptor Harosa lasted only a little more than half a century: the earthquake destroyed the statue and it was sold to the Syrians as scrap metal.

Skilled craftsmen in the field of bronze casting were Japanese. A huge figure of Buddha in the temple of todaiji created in the eighth century, weighs more than 400 tons. To cast this unique statue, required a truly outstanding craftsmanship and high technical level of the foundry.

And in more recent times, copper and bronze continued to faithfully serve the art of sculpture. Let us recall the famous "bronze horseman" - the immortal works of French sculptor of the eighteenth century Etienne Maurice Falconet. At the entrance to new York Harbor stands a 46-metre statue of Liberty, created at the end of the last century other French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. For its construction took 225 tons of sheet copper.

At an early age "bronze showed remarkable musical talent and forever bound with the bell ringing. From what metals and alloys tried people to cast bells from steel, cast iron, brass, aluminium and even gold and silver, but none of them could compete with the bronze in intensity and duration of sound. To have survived many ancient bronze bells - from small bells to nabatnaya giants. Bell ringing alarm and joyous, celebratory and sad - for centuries was accompanied by the most important events in our history.

Some peoples about the bells stacked exciting legends. So, in Korea in the eighth century was cast huge 48-ton bell, the sound of which is very beautiful. According to legend, the daughter of the wizard to save the father from numerous failures, rushed into the molten metal and it froze her dying scream. But usually master casters without such victims: changing the composition of the bronze age and the size of the casting, they created the amazing "stosowanie" bells sounded in the days of triumphs and troubles of the people".

Along with bronze, the man known since ancient times and other wonderful copper alloy - brass: in the role of ally copper is zinc. Mention of this alloy has left us another Egyptian priests, who, apparently, were the first in the history of science alchemists: manuscripts, found during the excavation of one of the tombs in Thebes, was kept secrets "receipt" of gold from copper. As argued by the authors of those sacred-chemical "monographs", was worth only add to copper and zinc, and she immediately turned into gold (by the looks of the brass really looks like gold). However, such a "gold" was a disadvantage on its surface appeared greenish "ulcers" and "rash" (unlike gold brass couldn't resist the harmful effects of oxygen). To resolve this "disease", according to priests, was required fervent prayer and potent spells.

A wide variety of applications found in antique and copper compounds. After the analysis of ancient frescoes, chemists discovered some acetic acid copper - it was bright green paint called Yar-verdigris. The recipe for it in Ancient Russia was simple: "Take the goat cheese, Yes honey fresh, put it in a copper vessel and naklada there copper and cut copper. Seal the lid with dough and put in the oven for two weeks. And that's it! Unknown, as produced Yar-Copperhead ancient Romans, but this paint was found in the wall paintings of the Thermae (baths) of the Roman Emperor Titus, in the frescoes of the ancient city of Pompeii, buried under a layer of lava and ash during the eruption of Vesuvius nearly two millennia ago.

Among the goods that were traded in the Alexandrian merchants, there was a large demand perfume paint "copper green". With its help ladies made eye green shadow - then it was considered a manifestation of taste. However, history repeats itself, and now that "make-up" again came into Vogue.

Copper mines found on the territory of our country, go back several millennia. During excavations in Transcaucasia, Middle Asia, Siberia, Altai, archaeologists have found copper and bronze knives and axes, arrowheads and shields, helmets and jewelry numerous products created long before our era.

In the early sixteenth century in Moscow gave the products of such "defence companies"as "Gun house" and "Gun court", where cast bronze guns of different calibers. In the casting of guns Russian masters have attained perfection. A masterpiece of art foundry still considered a 40-ton Tsar cannon, cast in bronze in 1586 Andrew Moss. Another remarkable monument of technology - bronze Tsar bell weighing more than 200 tons was cast in 1735 by the masters of the father and the son his mother and was intended for the bell tower of Ivan the Great. By the way, the dome of the monument of architecture of the XVI century covered with gold sheets of pure copper. Copper sheets are trimmed and the South door of the assumption Cathedral - the main temple of the Ancient Rus.

Lacking copper, Russia was forced constantly to seek new fields. In the mid-seventeenth century "for the investigation of copper ore in the Olonets district was sent to the merchant semen Gavrilov. The trip proved to be successful: ore really was.

Preserved is dated 1673 document, according to which the Olonets Governor had to clear a road from the mine to the plant length of fifteen miles. Somewhat earlier, in 1652, the Kazan Governor told the king that the copper ore "syscan lot' and plants... to the copper case involved".

And yet copper is not enough. Particularly acute shortage of copper was affected during the war with the Swedes (interestingly, throughout the war, Russia bought copper and iron in... Sweden). In the battle of Narva in 1700 - Russian army suffered a heavy defeat. Peter, realizing the need to create a powerful artillery, along with the increase in the smelting of copper, decides to requisition the Church of bronze bells and other products. Despite the objections of the clergy, Peter puts all the bronze medal for military purposes.

The battle of Poltava confirmed the wisdom of Peter: Swedish troops, who had only a few guns were destroyed by fire tens Russian bronze cannons. The defeat of the Swedes was critical for the subsequent development of the Russian economy.

After the victory at Poltava Peter holds another reform. Developed internal trade required cheap cash material capable of displace silver, which as a monetary metal, it was necessary for foreign trade. And back in the swing of the bell: now they pour not on the gun, and copper coin.

In subsequent years, the copper production in the country continues to develop. Dozens smelters occur in the Urals, Altai. By the end of the XIX century copper was smelted already in the Caucasus and Kazakhstan.

This is the time of the emergence of metallurgy of copper in the Far North (in the former Yenisei province). In 1919 geologist NN. Urvantsev found in Norilsk remains of the smelting furnace. It was found that the furnace was built in 1872, and its construction was preceded by a very interesting events.

That on the Taimyr have copper ore, which was then already known, but copper smelting industry could not develop due to the high cost of building materials, especially brick. And here in 1863 merchant monastery Sotnikov decided on witty "knight's move". He asks Yenisei Governor's permission to build in the village of Dudinka on equity wooden Church. Of course, the Governor could not refuse servant of God in this sacred request - merchant was granted permission. The focus was next. The Governor's office was not aware that in Dudinka there is already a Church, then stone. So, quickly built a wooden Church, the enterprising merchant was dismantled stone from bricks built in 1872 furnace for smelting copper - "great-grandmother" modern giant of nonferrous metallurgy of the Norilsk plant, fired shortly before the great Patriotic war.

By the beginning of XX century a significant part of the copper industry was in the hands of foreign concessions. In 1913, was made only 17 thousand tons of refined copper. This does not meet the needs of the country.

The civil war and the intervention of the Entente reduced copper production is virtually zero. Many copper mines were destroyed or flooded, the plants froze with no labor, or materials or fuel.

In these difficult years, reminded one of the former concessionaires major English industrialist Leslie Urquhart. He volunteered to help in the restoration of the richest in those days Karabash copper mine, subjecting bonded for us conditions. V.I. Lenin replied with a categorical refusal. But the desire of Urquart warm hands on Russian copper was great. Knowing how rich the bowels of our earth, he turned to the Soviet government with a new business proposal: "won't you give me... the opportunity to dig deeper in the Kirghiz steppes, near Balkhash and next? "he wrote. - Earlier than 50, maybe 100 years you these places still will not do."

But the leaders of the Soviet industry understood what "messing around" would be a tunnel under the economy of the young nation, and Urquhart had to part with their tempting ideas. The people took up the restoration industry.

For the implementation of the Leninist plan of electrification of the country needed was a copper, a lot of copper. 5 may 1922 gave the first production restored Kalatinskiy (now Kirovograd) copper smelting plant. The date of this start-up company can rightfully be considered the birthday of the Soviet non-ferrous metallurgy.

Soon turn to Balkhash. In the autumn of 1928 (and not in 50 or 100 years!) in this area was sent a search party. And here at the foot of mount Bentou-ATA, where he wanted to "dig deeper" Urquhart, geologists were able to find copper. A few years later there was started the construction of the Copper Magnitogorsk" - Balkhash mining and metallurgical plant. The construction was carried out in extremely difficult conditions. Often the only means of transport were the caravans of camels carrying goods for hundreds of miles. But the enthusiasm of the people overcame all difficulties and hardships. In 1938, was the first copper Balkhash.

In the first five years, and in the postwar period were built many other copper smelting enterprises. Now the copper industry is one of the leading sectors of the Soviet non-ferrous metallurgy.

In what areas of modern technology applied copper is one of the oldest metals known to man?

The most important properties of copper - its excellent electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity. Only one metal has even higher rates of these properties is silver. But this metal roads and may not be widely used for industrial purposes. This is why copper is rightly called the main metal electrical engineering.

Technologists employed today by the processing of copper, as their distant cave ancestors, appreciate this metal for its high plasticity: from it you can get the thinnest foil several times thinner than tissue paper.

Another valuable property of copper is its demagnetise. In Sverdlovsk on Observatory hill stands the wooden house, built in 1836 for meteorological and magnetic observations. In order to correct the interference for many devices, the construction of the house was not used a single metal nail - only copper.

In 1952 the stocks in the Finnish city of Turku has descended built to order in our country, three-masted schooner "dawn" is a small motor-sailing vessel, designed to study the Earth's magnetic field. High measurement accuracy is achieved by the fact that the number of magnetic materials in the design and equipment "Dawn" is minimized. Fixing of wooden housing made of brass; anchor, anchor chain, most items ship machinery - bronze and aluminium. Brass made even a sports bar, with which the practicing members of the crew and scientists during long ocean voyages.

Copper can be found in the transformer and the engine, in TV and radio, in sophisticated electronic devices and metal-working machines. From it are made a part of chemical equipment and tools for working with explosive or flammable substances, where you cannot use "sparkling" steel. A pair of copper - protagonists of the so-called pulsed lasers, on the basis of which a unique laser microscopes: they allow you to project on the screen increased in 15 of thousands of times the image of the smallest objects.

Copper and its alloys have extensive experience in construction. In the middle ages this metal served as a roof for castles and churches. Sheet copper coated, for example, the famous Royal castle in Elsinore (Denmark), where the Danish Prince hamlet by the will of the great Shakespeare was decided exciting dilemma: "to be or not to be?" In modern architecture perfectly ornaments and other decorative items made of copper. The example of the ancient Egyptians, soormally copper water lines, followed by the creators of one of the tallest buildings in the world - the Empire state building in new York: on the water system of this skyscraper height of 381 meters went over 200 tons of copper. Copper sheet, which is applied to the gold plating, made, details of the circuit and delicate framing each of the five ruby stars that adorn the towers of the Moscow Kremlin.

The number of copper alloys used in various spheres of human activity, is constantly growing. A few decades ago bronze called only alloys of copper with tin, and today a well-known aluminum and lead, silicon and manganese, beryllium and cadmium, chromium and zirconium bronze.

Aluminum bronze (alloy of copper from about 5 % aluminum) make, particularly coins. For the first time in Russia copper coins were introduced in the mid-seventeenth century.

This event in 1662 led Moscow to revolt, known in history under the name "Copper riot". The immediate cause of the uprising was the replacement of silver copper money, which caused higher prices for bread and other products. Exhausted by the long war with Poland and Sweden, have experienced extreme hardship due to frequent crop failures and large taxes the people rebelled. The king was able to suppress Copper rebellion" and severely punished the rebels, but copper coins had to withdraw from circulation.

Henry VIII - the Old copper nosethere are a lot of epithets and nicknames with which emperors, kings, kings and other monarchs went down in history. One of them was lucky: who is not flattering, for example, remain in the centuries and millennia Great, Beautiful or Terrible? But the English king Henry VIII, who ruled in the sixteenth century, had the right to lament the fate: he has received from his subjects the nickname "Old copper nose". The reason for such a high honor was as follows. When Henry VIII expenses of the court were very high: only official wives, successive (he has had half a dozen), went a lot of money, and war with France and Scotland required a significant cost. All this has led to serious disorder of the Royal finances. Loving and warlike monarch found the "original" way out: in his secret instructions of silver coins began to be minted from... copper, only on top covering them with a thin layer of silver. But here's the problem: every coin, being for many years in circulation, will eventually wear out. This fate befell the shilling of Henry VIII, on which was depicted the king himself. Since the most outstanding piece of metal Royal person on the coin was the nose, and he suffered from wear to a greater extent than other, less convex elements of the portrait. Silver on the tip of the nose was erased, shamelessly exposing the copper. That's why Henry VIII's life began to call people "Old copper nose". This nickname is still used by numismatists.

In the mid-seventeenth century unusual copper coins were made in Sweden: they was a massive rectangular plate that weighed about 20 pounds . This change fell into the hands of scientists recently when divers found at the bottom of the Baltic sea the remains of a medieval ship, on Board of which were several such coins.

Similar money, though smaller, was produced in Russia. In 1725 was distributed copper rubles in the form of a square plate with a mass of 1.6 kg. Together with rubles were issued and smaller square coins: poltinas, polupoltinas, UAH, nickels and pennies. Use heavy square coins were not very comfortable, and the release of them had to stop. In our days, these unique money valued at numismatists its Weight in gold.

Sometimes copper coins, paradoxically, be much more expensive than gold. In London once the auction was sold to a small copper coin dignity just 1 penny. But the audience knew that this tarnished the circle of metal is not "worthless". In 1933 mint in England coined only six of these coins, and five of them are in English Treasury and the British national Museum, and the sixth remained all these years in private collections. The new owner had put on the auction tidy sum - 2600 pounds. This is more than half a million times greater than the nominal value of coins.

In nature quite a lot of copper minerals. Perhaps the most beautiful of them - malachite. Large deposits of this wonderful green stone with unique designs are fraught with gray subsoil of the Urals. In 1835 there was found a lump, weighing 250 tons. Golden hands Ural masters-stonecutters turned malachite in the fairy-tale beauty products - boxes, vases, tables, columns. In the malachite hall of the Leningrad Hermitage you can see the huge vases of this stone-gem.

Rich deposits of copper ore are in Africa, in Zambia and Zaire. The story of their discovery. At the beginning of our century, a local resident, hunting, sable antelope-Ron, wounded one of them and began to harass her until she fell dead on top of a cliff. Coming closer, the hunter saw on the rock emerald-green veins. Chipped stone he showed geologists and they found that nature has hidden here a considerable portion of their copper hoards. The territory on which they are located, was named Medinsky zone and Deposit in Zambia, where it was first found copper, since then called Ron-Antelop.

In honor of copper in the lobby international airport Zambian capital of Lusaka, the monument is huge with a greenish tinge lump of copper ore. This is a kind of "calling card" of the young African States. And four-sided dome of the capital building where is located the National Assembly of Zambia, faced with a huge copper plates, symbolizing the natural wealth of the country, the Foundation of its economy.

It is interesting to note that in Zambian copper mines, scientists have discovered the world's oldest traces of life: in rocks, with a billion years, preserved microgallery done multicellular organisms that about 300 million years older than most all other "older" members of the terrestrial fauna known to science.

Unlike Zambia, where copper mining industry emerged only in our century, in Sweden copper mines operated during the time of the Vikings a thousand years ago. In the Museum of the city of Falun, famous for once a copper mining, visitors involuntarily pay attention to a rather strange piece - a huge hat from this metal. In ancient times there lived a Hatter master, apparently, who knew a lot about advertising. He ordered meganmegan cylinder meter height and writing on it, "the Manufacture of hats in the front yard, put it for all to see and attract customers. Now scraped out to fiery red gloss original "hat" was held in the Museum a place of honor among the Antiques.

There are copper and in another country in Northern Europe in Finland. One of the recently discovered here fields named after its discoverer - shepherd Gel, trained to the profession of geologist. The announcement of the prize money put for the dog, as expected, reacted guardedly, but the necklace of sausages, which she was crowned, has given her a true joy.

Recently more and more strong is the Union of Geology and botany - the so-called indicative geobotany. Even P.P. Bazhov, glorified in his wonderful tales stone treasures of the Urals, wrote about the magical flowers and grass, giving people the stores of gold, iron, copper. The roots of many plants going into the ground, pulling out of her, like pumps, solutions of mineral substances. And if there are deposited the ore of any metal content in the roots, stems, leaves will be clearly above the norm. In this case, each plant has its dainty dish: corn and honeysuckle partial to gold, violet prefer zinc, sage to taste manganese, pine loves beryllium. Increased content in a plant of a particular element serves as a signal for geological exploration, which often end in the open fields. So, using green friends found deposits of copper in Uzbekistan and Altai.

"Great vision at a distance," said the poet. With him must be fully geologists agree that, for a better view of the Land use in these days of space photography. Located on an artificial satellite or orbital scientific station apparatus by using the "FotoSlate" carefully studying the earth's surface, and working with him in a duet of electronic computing machine, in memory of which a typical geological landscapes, suggests that we should pay special attention. Thorough decryption photos and practical verification of Land which seemed to geologists interesting give good results. So, space Geology has revealed in Pakistan, which were previously unknown reserves of copper ore.

By rail and roads, rivers and lakes, seas and oceans are annually transported from the mining sites to metallurgical enterprises millions of tons of copper ore. Ironically, this is quite harmless burden sometimes unexpectedly turns out to be a source of serious danger. Thus, recently copper ore became... the culprit of the accident, which suffered a Norwegian freighter "Anitina". The holds of the ship, heading to the shores of Japan, were filled with a copper concentrate. Suddenly sounded the alarm: the vessel sprang a leak. It turned out that insidious joke with the mariners played their cargo: copper contained in concentrate, formed from steel "Anatini" good galvanic couple, and evaporation of sea water served as the electrolyte. Arising galvanic current was corroded by the plating vessel to such an extent that it has a lot of holes, and where the influx of ocean water.

Of interest is another side activity of copper, but not as metal. She belongs among the so-called bio-elements, necessary for normal development of plants and animals. In her "duties" is to accelerate the chemical processes occurring inside cells. In the absence or the lack of copper in plant tissues is reduced chlorophyll content, the leaves turn yellow, the plant ceases to bear fruit and may die. Not accidentally copper sulphate is widely used in agriculture.

From the animal world the greatest amount of copper contain octopus, cuttlefish, mussels and several other mollusks. In the blood of crustaceans and cephalopods copper, which is part of their respiratory pigment hemocyanin, plays the same role that the iron in the blood of other animals. Connecting with oxygen, hemocyanin blue (because the snails "blue blood"), and giving oxygen to the tissues becomes colourless. In animals, standing on a higher stage of development, and in humans, copper is found predominantly in the liver. If insufficient intake of copper from food in humans develops anemia, there is a weakness.

Must be so many people ascribe copper healing properties. Nepalis, for example, is considered a sacred copper metal, which helps to focus thoughts, improves digestion and treats gastrointestinal disease (patients give to drink water from a glass, in which lie a few copper coins). One of the largest and most beautiful Nepalese temples is called "Copper".

Sharks hate the copper sulfatePolish scientists have found that in those water bodies where there is copper, carp are large in size. In ponds or lakes, where copper is not, quickly develops a fungus that infects Karpov.

If the carp are not indifferent to the copper, the more respectable inhabitants of the underwater world of sharks can't stand this element, or rather its connection with sulfur - copper sulfate. Extensive experiments testing this anticholera drug were conducted in the USA in the beginning of the second world war, when torpedoes and bombs sank a lot of ships and the need for reliable means of protection from sharks was great. The solution to this problem has involved many scientists and hunters sharks. By the way, not left and Ernest Hemingway - he showed the place where he did not once hunted for sea lionesses. Success has surpassed all expectations: sharks eagerly enough bait" without copper sulfate and lie bypassed the control bait with the drug.

The effectiveness of the "anticalin" initially doubted the Australian specialists. "For our sharks (and Australian predator considered to be the most bloodthirsty), " retorted they are a sort of powder from a headache. He will only spicy sauce with the roast". However, when the famous Shark Bay, Western coast of Australia, the drug was tested, its effectiveness had to admit even the most devout skeptics.

Biological processes associated and one of the ways of production of copper. In the beginning of our century in America were closed copper mines in Utah: deciding that the ore reserve has been exhausted, the owners of the mines were flooded with water. When two years later the water was pumped out, it was 12 thousand tons of copper. A similar case happened in Mexico, where abandoned mines are all waved his hand, only one year was "exhausted" 10 thousand tons of copper.

Where does this copper? Scientists were able to find the answer. Among the many types of bacteria there are those for whom delicacy serve sulfur compounds of some metals. Because the copper in nature typically associated with grey, these bacteria are not indifferent to the copper ores. Oxidizing water-insoluble copper sulfides, microbes turn them into easily soluble compounds, and the process proceeds very quickly. So, if conventional chemical oxidation for 24 days from chalcopyrite (one of the copper minerals leached only 5 % of copper, in experiments involving bacteria for 4 days it was possible to extract 80 % of this element. As you can see, the comparison of technical and economic indicators clearly in favor of microtronics. Say that, in this case, they were created almost ideal conditions for operation: temperature ranged from 30 °to 35 ° C, the mineral was crushed and constantly stirred with a solution. But there is a lot of experimental evidence of the simplicity of bacteria: they are willing to do things even in the harsh conditions of the North, for example on the Kola Peninsula.

Especially useful is the participation of bacteria in the final stages of the mine: in depleted fields, as a rule, still from 5 to 20 % of the ore. But the extraction of these residues is not justified economically, and sometimes even impossible. But bacteria do not reach the copper cemeteries and pick up all the crumbs from the master's table.

Microorganisms can be used for processing of dumps. On the Mexican field Cananea, where copper mining is already more than a hundred years, near mines got a huge dumps tens of millions of tons. Although the copper content in them was very small, they tried to irrigate the mine water, which then flowed into underground reservoirs. From each liter of this water was able to take 3 grams of copper. Just the same only for the month of "nothing" was produced 650 tons of metal.

Bacteria enrolled in the state some of the mining enterprises in our country. The first pilot plant for bacterial leaching of copper began to act in 1964, one of the largest mines of the Ural - Degtyarsk. There are about dead pits and dumps concentrator for many years formed a new "field" poor copper ore. Her and gave into the power of microorganisms. Their hard work not to complain he had advanced was not produced one ton of valuable metal. Now in Degtyarsk already built industrial unit. Mass appearance of bacteria on the work happens at other enterprises of the Urals and Kazakhstan.

Bacteria joined the staff of some of the mining enterprises in our country

Research conducted in the Institute of Microbiology, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, showed that the tastes of industrial bacteria are quite diverse: in addition to copper, with their help it is possible to extract from the earth's interior iron, zinc, Nickel, cobalt, titanium, aluminum and many other elements, including such securities as uranium, gold, germanium, rhenium. Scientists have proved the possibility of obtaining by bacterial leaching of rare metals gallium, indium, and thallium.

Biometallurgy processes is very promising. Now underground leaching is the cheapest way of obtaining copper: people don't have to go down under the ground, eliminating the need for plants burning and processing of copper ore. All this hard work willingly perform billions of tiny "metallurgists", which, like the fabulous dwarves, night and day, work tirelessly, helping people to get the desired metal.

And isn't it tempting idea to send these workers in hard-to-reach deep horizons, where untold mineral wealth? After all, to get them out, the miners are forced to descend into the depths of the Earth for hundreds of meters, and in some places, as, for example, in the polar Talnakh, Taimyrsky mine, even a mile. Let's try to dream and imagine geomicrobiological the company of the future. Far in the interior of the Earth submerged pipes to ore rock is brought to the desired bioreactor. Passing through the rock, the solution is enriched by these or other metals, and then lifting to the surface, attacks them. It remains only to extract the metals from the solution and turn it into ingots, products or any other products.

Well-known Soviet scientist academician A.A. imshenetskii wrote: "the Huge role played by microorganisms in the circulation of substances in nature. Developed in his time V.I. Vernadsky's ideas of geomicrobiology are already practical application. It is known that microbes guilty in the formation of a number of ore minerals. Even Peter I ordered to the North of our country to get from the bottom of the lakes of the famous "penny" ore for the production of guns. It was created by... germs. In the near future in the industry will be widely applied microbes as active producers of precious metals. Some twenty years ago it seemed fantastic, but today people have learned to direct and intensify the activities of these invisible "metallurgists". Now in some places of the globe, pumping in already thrown (due to exhaustion) mine water, rich in microorganisms, get uranium, copper, germanium and other metals on an industrial scale. There is no doubt that the use of microbes in hydrometallurgy will make it one of the leading industries of the late twentieth century. Culture of microbes that oxidize sulfur compounds and other elements, are one of the most perfect and cheap steel "agents", and besides this production is easy to fully automate".

...Has long been a history of the copper age, but people will not part with copper - his oldest and most loyal friend.


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