A blast from the past

We’re all back in Newcastle safe and sound but the work never stops.

James and Andy are thinking about NEXT season – which is their cunning plan comes to fruition is going to require quite a lot of thought and planning!

Meanwhile Don O’Meara has assessed the slag from the 2014 excavations of the deserted medieval village of ?Barrow. This is what Don has to say:

“The evidence suggest that secondary-smithing was taking place at this site; i.e. the making, or repair, of iron objects from consolidated bar iron as opposed to the smelting of ore, or the primary working of unconsolidated iron bloom material. Specifically, tap slag was not identified, which would be typical of smelting operations. This was determined both by the surface morphology of the material, and the generally small and uniform vesicle sizes. The smithing hearth bases are formed by the reaction of iron scale, silica and the clay lining which form the base of the smithing hearth, and are common finds from medieval sites. The volume of material recovered at this stage does not suggest very extensive metal-working, though as this material is not likely to be transported for long distances it suggests that the iron-working was taking place within the immediate area of the excavation.”

Interesting stuff.


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