'...but look at the BONES!'


' Several recent papers have suggested the presence of small fragments of bone sometimes found within the debris fields related to bloomery iron smelting point to a possible 'ritual' practice. How might the physical process within a complete iron making sequence effect the ability of bone to endure or be deposited? A typical 'short shaft' furnace will be constructed and operated through to bloom extraction on a clean working surface. Both bone pieces and meat containing bone of several animal types will be added, before, during, at at the final stage of the smelting process. Afterwards, the debris field will be examined in detail to determine what remains of the bones. '

Text and photography Darrell Markewitz