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I Forge Iron

Pre historic forges

Sam Salvati

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Please everyone, I am looking and researching about the major styles of pre iron age into very early iron age into mid iron age into iron age into early steel age. Please if anyone has any information on the DESIGNS, shapes, styles, fuel type, definately pictures, I would be VERY greatful. Thanks!

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"Iron and Man in Prehistoric Sweden"
Divers Arts, Theophilus
De Re Metallica, Agricola
Cathedral Forge and Water Wheel
Egyptian Metal Working tools
History of Metallurgy
Sources for the history of the Science of steel
The Knight and the Blast Furnace (metallurgy of medieval/renaissance armour)
The Mastery and Uses of Fire in Antiquity
Metallurgy in Archeology
Medieval Iron in Society

Thw ASM has published articles and books on historical metalworking as has some of the journals like JOMS and there is an Archeological Metallurgy mailing list Arch-Metals that you can get on.

Proceedings of the IronMasters Conferences

BTW what foreign languages do you read archeological/technological stuff in?

Good name to look for are Radomir Pleiner, Alan Williams, R.F Tylecote, Cyril Stanley Smith as being people who were familiar with metallurgy when they started researching their works, (archeologists who are not familiar with metalworking can make some lovely errors!)

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Mechanic Exercises by joseph Moxon published in 1703 has a section on blacksmithing if you are into recent stuff.

Yes those are books---most of them I own (and I'm US$150/300 towards The Knight and the Blast Furnace) With Pleiner's work on early iron next in the queue, I have his book on the Celtic Sword and found it very good.

I have some books in spanish and german that cover the iron age as well.

ILL is your friend---usually, the local library wanted $25 to ILL TK&TBF!,


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You have peaked my interest ApprenticeMan, now I HAVE to go back to the library and look up a book I had my nose in once. Subject was history of man's use of metals, title escapes but I will find it there. In it is an early iron age dig in persia (Iran) which I described to someone else here on this forum. This archaeological dig site unearthed an early blacksmithing settup which was VERY basic. The "forge" was a shallow hole in the ground. The bellows was the really neat part and I will see about getting an image to post. The bellows consisted of a pair of "airbags", goatskins, one presumably held under each arm and alternately one bag would be squeezed and then the other to produce a steady stream of air. Each bag had a wooden stem or "pipe" leading from it and each of these terminated in a ceramic tip, right at the coals. Charcoal was the fuel used. What I could not get from the description given was how the bags filled with air once empty. As I said, all in all a very simple and ancient approach to smithing. I'll find it this weekend and get back on this one. Keep on hammerin'. Dan:)

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