I'm doing research for a book of fiction in which the main character is a skilled metalworker in ancient Jerusalem, circa 600 BC. I want to be authentic and historically accurate.
This person is able to construct fine swords, steel bows (for hunting), and ornate bronze objects.
I'm trying to find the answers to a few questions:
- What would his profession be called? Words like
goldsmithcome to mind, but if he worked with a variety of metals, what would his profession have been called?
- How would such a worker have obtained clients? Is he a freelancer, doing work for all comers? If so, how did he advertise his services and get the word out? Or would he have been attached to a wealthy person or royalty, and worked exclusively for that person?
- How much would he have been paid in shekels for constructing a fine steel sword (of the highest craftsmanship, with jewels, etc)? How about a fine steel bow for hunting? (Earliest known usage of steel has been dated at 1800 BC.) Would shekels have necessarily been the medium of exchange? Or would he have just as likely been paid in fungible gold or silver?
- Now suppose that the fine sword were delivered to the client, but the client didn't pay. What legal recourse did the craftsman have? A lawsuit? Reporting him to a judge? How did that process work?
Thanks in advance for any advice.