Nok Eisen : zentralnigerianische Eisenverhüttung in der Mitte des ersten Jahrtausends vor Christus

  • Based on excavations, excavation documentation and archaeometallurgical analyses, this thesis aims to characterise Nok iron production in central Nigeria through a contextually based investigation. In 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2016, the Nok research project at Goethe University Frankfurt/Main in collaboration with the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Nigeria excavated 27 iron-smelting furnaces from 8 sites 60 kilometres north of Abuja. All furnaces date around the middle of the first millennium BCE. Absolute dates, relative pottery chronology and terracotta figurine finds in furnace contexts suggest their affiliation to the Nok context. In comparison, all 27 furnaces resemble each other closely regarding their design and spacial arrangement. The numbers of furnaces per site, furnace width, furnace wall angle and thickness as well as pits beneath the furnaces are just some features with similar qualities. The similarities of the smelting sites also extend into their finds: the structure of tuyères and their position in situ as well as macroscopic slag morphology and distribution. Find morphology and distribution as well as furnace structure suggest a highly standardized way of Nok iron production. However, archaeometallurgical analyses show heterogeneous use of raw materials between sites and/or furnaces. In similarly structured furnaces different kinds of iron ore were smelted leaving a high iron content in the respective slags. This hints at an early stage of iron production in which the smelting process was limited to one operative set-up.

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Author:Henrik JuniusGND
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Referee:Peter BreunigGND, Hans Peter HahnORCiDGND
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of Publication (online):2023/06/21
Year of first Publication:2023
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Granting Institution:Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität
Date of final exam:2017/01/25
Release Date:2023/06/21
Tag:African Archaeology; Early Iron Age; Subsaharan
Iron Production; Nok
Page Number:209
Institutes:Sprach- und Kulturwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:9 Geschichte und Geografie / 93 Geschichte des Altertums (bis ca. 499), Archäologie / 930 Geschichte des Altertums bis ca. 499, Archäologie
9 Geschichte und Geografie / 96 Geschichte Afrikas / 960 Geschichte Afrikas
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht