Calendar of Events

Workshop: Early Iron Production

Organised by
Ariel University (IL)

Research Workshop of the Israel Science Foundation

The workshop will present the various technological and cultural aspects of early iron production in the Levant and Africa and will focus on “Hands-on” and active participation of the audience in a three-day iron smelting experiment. A major emphasis will be given towards the importance of “experimental archaeology” as a tool for the reconstruction of ancient technologies and material culture. One day will be as an international conference with contributions from various researchers in the field.

The workshop will be directed by Dr. Adi Eliyahu-Behar (Ariel University) and Dr. Jane Humphris (British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA)) with the help of two professional iron smelters, Mr. Jake Keen and Mr. Lee Sauder.

Students from all relevant disciplines are welcome.

  • 4 academic credit points are offered
  • limited number of scholarships are available

Topics to be discussed in the workshop:

  • Early archaeometallurgy foundations; mining, ores, smelting, crucibles, furnaces and slag
  • Early metallurgy in the Levant; non-ferrous metallurgy; copper, silver and gold
  • Foundations of iron working; the ‘chaine operatoire’

         Smelting
         Primary smithing – forging the bloom
         Secondary smithing – forging an object
         Heat treatments; quenching, tempering

  • Early iron production in the Levant – the archaeological evidence
  • Early iron production in Africa – the archaeological evidence
  • Fieldwork and excavation of metallurgical sites
  • Provenance of iron ores, production debris and artifacts
  • Materials analysis; technical ceramics, slags, iron artifacts
  • Experimental Archaeology; a tool for reconstruction of ancient technologies – theory and case studies

Funded by the Israel Science Foundation and AU