Forging History-hot iron

Forging History-hot iron

red-hot iron in the hearth

Archaeologists haven’t yet determined what fuel was used by the original smiths 2,500 years ago. There probably was not enough wood nearby, but because the area around the tel was marshy then, reeds might have been used. The area around ancient Akko was home to large olive groves, so olive mash left over after pressing out the oil was a possibility. The researchers found, though, that it burned too hot and too fast. For this experiment, the group used charcoal. They also didn’t have the same iron to start with, so they used lengths of iron rebar.

IMAGE: J. Munro, courtesy of the Tel Akko Total Archaeology Project.