Archaeology, Archaeology Experimental, Archaeology Research

Iron ore reduction in a bloomery furnace – part 1

At the moment I’m trying to produce the first draft of my literature review. This involves reading a lot of rather dull and repetitive articles, as well as wading through the kilos of paper I have photocopied in the last six months because I thought it looked ‘useful’. Hmm. Probably should have read those as I went along!

Of course, I should be concentrating on just doing the lit review – looking at how and what other people have published – because it’s due in by the end of the month. But today I’ve been reading :

Killick, D. & Gordon, R.B., 1989. The mechanism of iron production in the bloomery furnace. In R. M. Farquhar, R. G. V. Hancock, & L. A. Pavlish, eds. Proceedings of the 26th International Archaeometry Symposium, held at University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, May 16th to May 20th 1988.  Toronto: University of Toronto, pp. 120-123.

Which manages to pack a rather incredible amount of intense and frankly confusion information into just four pages. So in an attempt to understand the two processes they describe, I’ve put together a couple of flow-charts and I thought I’d share the first drafts with you.

The article is not particularly clear, and there are no diagrams in it, so the below flow-charts might not be completely correct or exactly what Killick and Gordon meant. But I think I’ve got it mostly correct. Hopefully time and further research will tell!

[edit – now with  all the words in the laterite diagram!]

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