Forging History-men at hearth

Forging History-men at hearth

two men operate a recreated hearth

The team made two pit hearths similar in size to those they had found on the site. The pits were ringed with stones, and each included a stone slab about a foot and a half tall, set upright at the pit’s rim to confine the heat. Below the slab (not visible here), they placed a clay tuyère, or tube, to carry air from a bellows into the hearth. More tuyères, shaped of local clay, were set along the hearth shown here to be fired for future use. Traditional blacksmith Gökhan Bakla (left) and archaeometallurgist Ümit Güder used air bellows to fire the experimental hearth. Güder says the amount of smithing slag found at Tel Akko is the most he’s ever seen in the region.

IMAGE: L.G. Meiberg, courtesy of the Tel Akko Total Archaeology Project.