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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
Flakes of iron found last year in the Upper Agora

Photos courtesy Sagalassos Archaeological Research Project. Click on images to enlarge.
by Marc Waelkens

Metallurgical Studies: Introduction

Last year, morphological identification of iron-working debris by Patrick Degryse (Expertise Center for Bio- and Geoarchaeological Sciences and Image Processing, KULeuven: www.archscience.be) and Nathalie Kellens (KULeuven) revealed a functional difference between the activities in the city and the territory. Within the city proper, mainly smithing activity could be proven, while in the territory both smelting and smithing was documented. This year, they are focusing on quantifying smithing debris to distinguish between various types of blacksmith workshops (primary working, shaping, repair, and so forth). Smithing hearth bottoms are being described in terms of their weight, volume, density, mineralogy, chemistry, ellipticity, flatness, position in the hearth, and profile. Also, they are taking additional soil samples to further identify the location of iron working in the city. Several possible locations of metal-working activities identified by the Slovenian team's geophysical survey (Surveys, Geophysical, July 18-22) will be geochemically investigated to determine their trace element content. (Many elements may be indicative of pollution, caused by metallurgical activity.) At one location, corresponding to a geophysical anomaly, we did find iron ore.

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