Topics: Tar-Baby - Wikipedia

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Making a sword was resource intensive, both because of the valuable metals required and because of the labor from many skilled individuals that went into it.

Bronze is made by mixing a small part of tin with a larger portion of copper. The ancients didn’t have modern strip mines or deep underground mines. Nor did they have sophisticated machinery run by deisel engines. How did they get copper and tin out of the ground?

Copper mines bore some resemblance to my expectations. The copper deposits needed to be relatively near the surface, but the ancients actually did tunnel down to a vein of ore. There, at the working face, they built a fire to heat the ore-containing rock. Once the rock reached a high enough temperature, they doused it with cold water. This process increased the brittleness of the rock and induced a preliminary degree of cracking. Blows from a hammer or pick could then break it into rubble, which could be heated in a smelting furnace to extract the copper.

Further reading. Media related to Tar baby at Wikimedia Commons; The dictionary definition of tarbaby at Wiktionary; Works related to Uncle Remus: His Songs and His.

The Tar-Baby is the second of the Uncle Remus stories published in 1880; it is about a doll made of tar and turpentine used by the villainous Br'er Fox to entrap Br'er Rabbit. The more that Br'er Rabbit fights the Tar-Baby, the more entangled he becomes.

In one tale, Br'er Fox constructs a doll out of a lump of tar and dresses it with some clothes. When Br'er Rabbit comes along, he addresses the tar "baby" amiably, but receives no response. Br'er Rabbit becomes offended by what he perceives as the Tar-Baby's lack of manners, punches it and, in doing so, becomes stuck. The more Br'er Rabbit punches and kicks the tar "baby" out of rage, the worse he gets stuck.

Now that Br'er Rabbit is stuck, Br'er Fox ponders how to dispose of him. The helpless but cunning Br'er Rabbit pleads, "Do anything you want with me --- roas' me, hang me, skin me, drown me --- but please, Br'er Fox, don't fling me in dat brier-patch," prompting the sadistic Br'er Fox to do exactly that because he gullibly believes it will inflict maximum pain on Br'er Rabbit. As rabbits are at home in thickets, however, the resourceful Br'er Rabbit escapes.