Iron Age iron production in Britain and the near Continent: compositional analyses and smelting systems
Stetkiewicz2017 Appendix 2.pdf (19.09Mb)
Stetkiewicz, Scott Serreze
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This thesis presents the results of compositional and statistical analyses of Iron Age ironworking residues from sites in Scotland, England, Wales and France. As no framework for ferrous archaeometallurgy previously existed in the main research area of Scotland, a catalog of sites was compiled to determine where targeted scientific analyses could be of most use in creating a regional metallurgical profile. Fieldwork carried out at the site of Meunet Planches in France provided the non- British research component, as extant analyses matching this study’s temporal criteria were not available. A total of 80 new SEM-EDS samples were generated (58 from Scotland and 22 from France), and used together with existing site- and regional-level compositional studies to explore chemical behavior following the procedures laid out by Charlton (2007) and others. These included a range of multivariate statistical techniques such as Hierarchical Clustering Analysis (HCA), Principal Component Analysis (PCA), and Discriminant Analysis (DA). These approaches were considered within the wider discussion of smelting “systems” as defined by Dillmann and L’Heritier (2007), in an effort to visualize the relationship between compositional groups and parent geographic regions. Results indicate overall chemical homogeneity within and between the study regions, suggesting that the systems producing the slag were broadly similar in terms of their operation and reduction “efficiency”. This trend remains stable even when accounting for resource-based influence; implying that appreciable similarities existed between system operations (and therefore potentially human decisions) regardless of the size, age, or complexity of manufacturing industries. Deviation from this main compositional group, exhibited by only a handful of sites, seems to be similarly unrelated to temporal or geographic factors. Rather, it appears to follow the diffusion of slag between the two slag Optima identified by Rehren et al (2007), and on several of the outlier sites relates to the production of hypereutectoid steel.