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An early medieval lead-smelting bole from Banc Tynddol, Cwmystwyth, Ceredigion

Anguilano, L; Timberlake, S; Rehren, T; (2010) An early medieval lead-smelting bole from Banc Tynddol, Cwmystwyth, Ceredigion. Historical Metallurgy , 44 (2) 85 - 103. Green open access

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Abstract

Excavations in 2002 at Cwmystwyth, in Central Wales, found an ancient lead smelting site. There are remains of the medieval and the Roman periods. This paper describes in brief the excavation of the medieval lead bole (Timberlake 2002a) but also provides an archaeological reconstruction of this and details of an experimental lead smelt carried out at the site in 2003 (by ST). The analytical study (by LA) is of the medieval metallurgical debris excavated in 2002, mostly slag, but also ore and lead. The aim was to understand the raw material, the metal produced and the smelting process. The ore smelted was predominantly galena but with no detectable silver, showing it was probably exploited to produce lead. The extremely high sulphur content of the slag indicates that the ore was not roasted before smelting. It is argued that the medieval activity was small-scale, smelting a very rich ore. The furnaces apparently did not require much capital investment, enabling a short-lived and/or exploratory smelting operation.

Type: Article
Title: An early medieval lead-smelting bole from Banc Tynddol, Cwmystwyth, Ceredigion
Location: UK
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://hist-met.org/publications/historical-metall...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: lead smelting, medieval, Wales
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1430483
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