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First experimental reconstruction of an Angkorian iron furnace (13th–14th centuries CE): Archaeological and archaeometric implications

Abstract : The region around Phnom Dek in Northern Cambodia represents a vast metallurgical landscape with evidence for mining and smelting of iron spanning over a millennium of smelting activities (7th to 20th centuries CE). Research conducted over the past decade in this region has expanded our understanding of the resources, production, technological evidence and furnace structures used during the Angkor period (11thc.–14thc.). In December 2018, a first experimental attempt at reducing iron ore mined from the historic source at Phnom Dek was conducted at the Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO) Center in Siem Reap/Angkor (Cambodia). The experimental research was designed to achieve several interconnected objectives. The aim of our study is not only to address technical questions relative to the metallurgical traits of the furnace and the metallurgical process employed during the late Angkor period, but also to provide new data to clarify the interpretations resulting from the provenance and iron dating analyses that assist in interpretations relating to production and consumption practices. Both the archaeological evidence and ethnographic descriptions were combined to reproduce the experimental furnace. This paper summarizes the preliminary results and provides information on the late Angkorian smelting process and on the accuracy and variabilities of the archaeometric data including provenance and iron dating.
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https://hal-cea.archives-ouvertes.fr/cea-02972002
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Submitted on : Tuesday, October 20, 2020 - 7:06:34 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 3:26:48 AM

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Stéphanie Leroy, Sylvain Bauvais, Emmanuelle Delqué-Količ, Mitch Hendrickson, Nicolas Josso, et al.. First experimental reconstruction of an Angkorian iron furnace (13th–14th centuries CE): Archaeological and archaeometric implications. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, Elsevier, In press, 34, pp.102592. ⟨10.1016/j.jasrep.2020.102592⟩. ⟨cea-02972002⟩

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