Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Mineralogical Characterization of Slags from Oiola Site (Biscay) to Assess the Development in Bloomery Iron Smelting Technology from the Roman Period to the Early Middle Ages

Version 1 : Received: 10 January 2020 / Approved: 11 January 2020 / Online: 11 January 2020 (14:24:35 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Portillo-Blanco, H.; Zuluaga, M.C.; Ortega, L.A.; Alonso-Olazabal, A.; Cepeda-Ocampo, J.J.; Martínez Salcedo, A. Mineralogical Characterization of Slags from the Oiola Site (Biscay, Spain) to Assess the Development in Bloomery Iron Smelting Technology from the Roman Period to the Middle Ages. Minerals 2020, 10, 321. Portillo-Blanco, H.; Zuluaga, M.C.; Ortega, L.A.; Alonso-Olazabal, A.; Cepeda-Ocampo, J.J.; Martínez Salcedo, A. Mineralogical Characterization of Slags from the Oiola Site (Biscay, Spain) to Assess the Development in Bloomery Iron Smelting Technology from the Roman Period to the Middle Ages. Minerals 2020, 10, 321.

Journal reference: Minerals 2020, 10, 321
DOI: 10.3390/min10040321

Abstract

Oiola archeological site, located in the mining complex of La Arboleda (Biscay, North Spain) was an important iron smelting center from the Roman Period to the Early Middle Ages and even in more current times (19th-20th centuries). Tap-slags and some plano-convex slags were identified as smelting slags. Samples were analyzed by optical microscopy, X-ray powder diffraction, scanning electron microscopy coupled with electron-dispersive spectroscopy and Raman microspectroscopy to perform a mineralogical and textural characterization. Additionally, thermogravimetric and thermodiffraction analyses were carried out to determine furnace operating temperatures. The mineral assemblage reflects furnace cooling rates and temperatures and the addition of quartz as the main flux to decrease the melting temperature of the iron ore. The comparison of slags from the Roman Period and the Early Middle Age allows to observe changes in the pyrometallurgical process through time.

Subject Areas

smelting slags; multianalytical study; furnace operating conditions; Roman Period; Early Middle Age; North Spain

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