furnace, kiln or oven

“Look at the Bones!” - Adding Bone in a Bloomery Iron Smelt

Darrell Markewitz 1
Publication Date
A case study of a practical experimental test. Through 2019, much was made in the popular press suggesting that during the Viking Age, exhumed human bone had been used in the chain of production from iron ore through to finished swords. Contradicting this, considerable experience with small scale direct reduction process bloomery iron smelting furnaces indicated that at least while creating the iron itself...

Experimenting with the Ancient Greek Pottery Production Process from Clay Selection to Firing in a (Re)constructed Updraft Kiln

Francesca Tomei 1 ✉,
Juan Ignacio Jimenez Rivero 2
Publication Date
This article presents an experimental archaeology project that aimed to reproduce the Hellenistic Greek pottery production process. The project's main research questions were focused on understanding how locally available raw materials and climatic conditions influenced the production process and how the process created social networks with the local community...

An Experimental Approach to Tannur Ovens and Bread Making in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula during the Iron Age

Carmen Ramírez Cañas 1 ✉,
Penélope I. Martínez de los Reyes 1,
Antonio M. Sáez Romero 1
Publication Date
Culinary culture has played an essential role in the configuration and interaction of human societies throughout history, shaping both individual and collective identities. Like the modern Mediterranean diet, Phoenician-Punic subsistence relied on cereals, often in the form of...

Hard Fun: Further Discussions on an Undergraduate Project to (Re)Construct and Fire a Medieval Tile Kiln

Gaynor Wood 1
Publication Date
This experiment, undertaken over a 12-month period in 2015 at Norton Priory Museum in Cheshire, formed part of a pedagogic case study and an experimental archaeology project. Here eight Archaeology and 12 Ceramics students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) researched, built, and fired a tile kiln using evidence from previous experimental archaeology projects on the site and other firing projects...

Scored Basins from Late Minoan Crete: an Experimental Interpretation from Construction to Functionality

Brianna Jenkins 1
Publication Date
During the Bronze Age in Crete, agriculture, pottery production, metallurgy, textiles, architectural feats, trade, and other specializations flourished. Throughout habitation on Crete, pottery production was an area of craftsmanship and practicality from the end of the Neolithic to Mycenean and Iron Age. This experiment, however, relates to the Late Minoan I period in the geographical region of Mochlos...

Experimental Archaeology of Iron Age Firing Structures from the Western Mediterranean

Maria-Carme Belarte 1,2 ✉,
María Pastor Quiles 2,3,
Marta Portillo 4,5,
Carme Saorin 6,7,
Marta Mateu Sagués 2,
Alessandra Pecci 8,9,
Sílvia Vila 10,11,
Josep Pou 12,
Georgina Castells 12,
Jordi Morer 13,
Joaquín Fernández 14,
Publication Date
The main objective of the research is to deepen our knowledge of how Iron Age combustion structures worked and were used by protohistoric communities living in the western Mediterranean...

The Little Bowl That Could! Experimental Iron Smelting in a Bowl Furnace

Yvette A Marks 1 ✉,
V. Lucas 1 ✉,
D. O’ Frighil 2
Publication Date
The bowl furnace has been a somewhat neglected topic in the early history of iron making, often overshadowed in experimental work by the shaft furnace. This assessment attempts to re-evaluate the position of the bowl furnace in early iron-making - firstly by looking at how it is regarded in scholarly literature, and secondly, through an experimental reconstruction programme...

Copper Smelting Could Have Been Discovered in Connection with the Massive Production of Lime Plaster in the Near East During the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B, which is Much Earlier than Previously Believed

Ulf Fornhammar 1 ✉,
Henry Hammarström 2
Publication Date
A common theory is that copper smelting first appeared in the Near East in close connection with the early pottery industry. However, copper smelting may well have been discovered many times in history and at many places. Our hypothesis is that copper smelting could have been discovered when the copper-bearing mineral malachite, accidentally or intentionally, was present in lime-burning kilns...

Standardized Reporting of Experimental Iron Smelting - A modest (?) Proposal

Darrell Markewitz 1
Publication Date
The development of effective bloomery iron smelting has progressed over the past decades from the first repeated experiments into documented, effective, methods. This progression has primarily been the work of often isolated individuals, many with great practical experience as artisans, but most often with little formal academic training. The overall result is a patchwork of recording methods and descriptions...

Smelting Conditions and Smelting Products: Experimental Insights into the Development of Iron Bloomery Furnaces

Yvette A. Marks 1 ✉,
N. Groat 1,
L. O. Lortie 1,
M. Hughes 1,
H. F. Thompson 1,
C. J. Woodland 1,
T. MS Adams 1,
T. Thorpe 1,
Bangcheng Tang 1,
R. Kenyon 1,
B. Langhorne 1,
J. Fraser-Darling 1
Publication Date
The material record for bloomery furnaces in Iron Age and Roman Britain is fragmentary and, because of this paucity of evidence, the reconstruction of the ceramic structures used in iron production is difficult. Experiments have nevertheless been carried out to ...