25,March Wednesday, at 15:30
Hadi Özbal , Boğaziçi University

An important Ottoman Period iron-working site was rediscovered within a thickly forested area of the Istranca Massifs during the early 1990's by the Directorate of K¤rklareli Museum the site was designated as an "Archaeological Conservation Area" with the purpose of providing essential preservation measures. Since 2003, a multi-disciplinary team under the auspices of the Society for Turkish History of Science has been undertaking research at this area which contains several iron foundries, numerous iron furnaces, complicated water-power installations, huge slag heaps and other related materials. The research has included surface surveys, industrial archaeology excavations, archival research, as well as archaeo-metallurgical analyses. The excavated and documentary evidence indicated that iron working in Demirköy-Samakocuk dates back to at least the 15th century. Field research by the Department of Archaeology of Istanbul University has found further evidence for copper and iron mining and smelting as far back as the 1st Millennium B.C. Three seasons of archaeological excavation in the main foundry included an almost intact bloomery furnace, a copper smelting furnace, badly destroyed remains of a blast furnace, an iron workshop as well as the architectural features for a water powered forging hammer and bellows used for the air blast. Surveys and the excavations at the main foundry yielded numerous slag specimens, cast and bloom iron ingots as well as a great number of manufactured iron implements. Local magnetite sand, which is still abundantly available in the river sediments, was the main ore used. Several spectroscopic and microscopic techniques are utilized to identify the composition and microstructure of various archaeometallurgical materials. The archival research showed that initially the foundry was established to cast mortar shells for the Ottoman army and navy. However, remaining slag heaps as well as the furnaces in the peripheral workshops indicates that both cast and wrought iron was produced simultaneously. This presentation will summarize the preliminary results of the first multi-disciplinary industrial archaeology research in Turkey.