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Ethnoarchaeological research on indigenous iron smelting in Siberia E. V. Vodyasov

By: Vodyasov, Evgeny VMaterial type: ArticleArticleOther title: Этноархеологические исследования металлургии железа в Сибири [Parallel title]Subject(s): этноархеологические исследования | Сибирь | выплавка железаGenre/Form: статьи в журналах Online resources: Click here to access online In: Сибирские исторические исследования № 2. С. 164-180Abstract: The article presents an ethnoarchaeological study of iron smelting as practiced by the indigenous population of Siberia. The relevance of it is accounted for by the fact that archaeological (pre-written) and ethnographic (written) data demonstrate continuous development of traditional iron metallurgy in the region since the early first millennium A.D. up until the early 20th century. Author suggests that thanks to the common physical and chemical processes involved ethnographic descriptions of iron production can help us reconstruct iron smelting practices used even further back in time. The undertaken research yielded the following results. Firstly, Siberian iron smelters used different types of iron ore together and the choice of ore depended on the quality of iron required. Secondly, ethnoarchaeological data revealed that they also had different types of blacksmith’s bellows at their disposal. Thirdly, the Siberian climate with its changing summer and winter seasons, as well as the quantity of iron needed, had an impact on the types of iron smelting furnaces developed within the same culture. Finally, the 18th to the 20th century written data indicate certain similarities in iron smelting technologies applied in different Siberian cultures, and that seems to constitute a basis reliable enough for reconstructing ancient technologies of the preliterary era.
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Библиогр.: с. 178-180

The article presents an ethnoarchaeological study of iron smelting as practiced by the indigenous population of Siberia. The relevance of it is accounted for by the fact that archaeological (pre-written) and ethnographic (written) data demonstrate continuous development of traditional iron metallurgy in the region since the early first millennium A.D. up until the early 20th century. Author suggests that thanks to the common physical and chemical processes involved ethnographic descriptions of iron production can help us reconstruct iron smelting practices used even further back in time.
The undertaken research yielded the following results. Firstly, Siberian iron smelters used different types of iron ore together and the choice of ore depended on the quality of iron required. Secondly, ethnoarchaeological data revealed that they also had different types of blacksmith’s bellows at their disposal. Thirdly, the Siberian climate with its changing summer and winter seasons, as well as the quantity of iron needed, had an impact on the types of iron smelting furnaces developed within the same culture. Finally, the 18th to the 20th century written data indicate certain similarities in iron smelting technologies applied in different Siberian cultures, and that seems to constitute a basis reliable enough for reconstructing ancient technologies of the preliterary era.

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