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Essay example - assess the evidence concerning the Chaîne opératoire of iron production in the british isles during the roman occupation

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This period saw the wide spread use of iron-made goods, and wood products among other items made of locally available materials. Even before the Romans occupied the British…

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One of the most famous iron production points in the British Isles was the Ashdown Forest according to Ireland (2008). The place was clearly a vital part of the Wealden iron industry having been in operation from pre-historic periods. Considering that its geology that was made up of sandstone Ashdon Beds and clay mad it easier for the extraction of iron. The place was also favorable in that there was enough wood that would be used during the smelting process (Ireland 2008). Furthermore, the soft sandstones could be carved to form valleys and lakes that would eventually provide water for powering the forges and furnaces.
The process of identifying the iron mines depended on the availability of wood used for smelting fuel which was abundant in British Isles. This was because iron ores were found everywhere in the country and iron quite inexpensive (Burnham 1997). Britain emerged to be a right place for getting iron which was required for making war machines used by the Romans. The Romans constructed most f the underground mines found in Britain. Iron was mined in open pits as well as underground fields with slaves bearing the weights of the work involved in the mining or the ore.
After extracting the ore from the mine it was the crushed and washed according to Burnham (1997). Once the iron ore had been mined from the open pits, they had to be cleaned before undergoing further processing. The iron oxide was then left after washing and later was smelted through the bloomery method. Charcoal was used for heating up the iron to about 1500 degrees Celsius and the resulting slag was removed and dumped (Burnham 1997). After the iron was smelted, it was transferred to forges where it underwent reheating and then used in the formation of weapons and other items. Later, the blast furnace was introduced in the industry and took a preeminent position in the smelting of the ore according to Burnham (1997).
The blast furnace was ...
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