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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:

  1. What would his profession be called? Words like blacksmith, silersmith, coppersmith, and goldsmith come to mind, but if he worked with a variety of metals, what would his profession have been called?
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. 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.

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    I doubt anyone was working with steel in 600 BC Jerusalem. It would be at least a hundred years before steel production started in India and hundreds more before it would've been exported in significant quantity to the Middle East. Also, steel apparently makes for a terrible bow, its only advantage being being able to kept in storage for a long time with degradation. They were never used for hunting. More likely your craftsman would be making weapons (but not bows) from bronze. – Ross Ridge Dec 7 '19 at 22:04
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    The words blacksmith and silversmith didn't exist anywhere in the world in 600BC of course. Which language are you interested in? Aramaic? Akkadian? Hebrew? ... – RedGrittyBrick Dec 8 '19 at 0:34
  • Red: Hebrew (translated to English). Ross: I have researched this...you should too: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steel, crossbow.fandom.com/wiki/Steel_as_bow_material – HerrimanCoder Dec 8 '19 at 2:30
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    @HerrimanCoder - Please edit the question to include all the information. Don't respond in comments, and please don't argue with commenters – Mark C. Wallace Dec 8 '19 at 12:24
  • For a bow you would need not just steel but spring steel. There are several other questions on this site about when it became available. – Aaron Brick Dec 9 '19 at 19:52

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