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Iron metallurgy in the Great Zimbabwe hinterland:: New archaeometallurgical field evidence
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, African and Comparative Archaeology. Uppsala University.
(English)In: Azania, ISSN 0067-270X, E-ISSN 1945-5534Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Whilst our knowledge of iron production within the dry-stone-built urban centre of the Great Zimbabwe in southern Africa has significantly increased, very little is known about the nature of iron metallurgy in the hinterland and its possible relationship with the centre itself. Within these knowledge gaps, this paper uses results from previous and recent archaeological surveys and excavations to draw for the first time, a detailed account of the varied iron production technologies in areas surrounding the Great Zimbabwe centre. It brings to light a growing corpus of such archaeometallurgical materials as multiple-fused tuyeres, tap slag, large circular furnace bases as well as a previously unknown rectangular furnace design. The paper argues that these important findings, which have the potential to yield alternative insights into the technical and social complexities of Great Zimbabwe’s iron, represent clear evidence of engineering ingenuity in metallurgy over time.

Abstract [fr]

Malgré l’avancement de la connaissance sur la production du fer dans le centre urbain construit en pierre sèche du Grand Zimbabwe, au sud de l’Afrique, la connaissance de la métallurgie de ce métal dans le vaste paysage archéologique est encore déficitaire, notamment pour ce qui concerne les éventuels rapports établis avec le centre du Pays. Basé sur des informations issues des prospections et des fouilles récentes et anciennes, cet article présente un premier bilan détaillé sur les technologies de production du fer dans les aires environnantes du centre du Grand Zimbabwe. Un corpus de données de plus en plus croissant de matériaux archéométallurgiques comme des tuyères fusionnées, des scories, des bases de grands fourneaux circulaires, ainsi que le dessin d’un fourneau rectangulaire inconnu jusqu’à présent est mise à jour. Cet article soutient que ces importantes découvertes permettent d’apporter des interprétations alternatives sur les complexités sociales et technologiques du fer au Grand Zimbabwe, en témoignent d’une ingénierie ingénieuse de l’activité métallurgique au fil du temps.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group.
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Archaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-334794OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-334794DiVA: diva2:1160686
Available from: 2017-11-28 Created: 2017-11-28 Last updated: 2017-12-05
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