Heritage of Indian Metallurgy – Volume 6 – Zinc

Zinc is a bluish-white, yellow, brown or black coloured base-metal with enigmatic properties and has a rich origin. Ancient Indian civilizations have the distinction of being one of the first to extract, distil and smelt Zinc. With its property to boil over 900 degrees, it was difficult to master the process of Zinc smelting. Nevertheless, many objects made of Zinc alloys have been found across various sites in modern day Gujarat, as early as 2200-1500 BCE.

Zinc was popularly used with copper to make Brass as early as 2M and 3** millennia in North-western Indian civilizations to be used for making deities, sculptures and other implements. Zinc and its alloys spread from India to China from where it was exported to Western countries bearing the name ‘Indian/Malabar Lead* This book discusses the origins, extraction, smelting process and applications of zinc dating back to 4‘* and 3M century BCE. Ancient records and texts like the Arthashastra and Rasaratnakara by Nagarjuna provide the description for production of brass and zinc. There are also references of medicinal uses of zinc in the Charaka Samhita (300 BCE).

Digital version coming soon.