Before or after? Stratigraphic relations of Iron Age slag-pit furnaces in the Mazovian Centre of Metallurgy
- Late Iron Age,
- Przeworsk Culture,
- iron production,
- slag-pit furnaces
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Chronology of the bloomery fields of the Iron Age is a very complex and interesting subject. Usually it can be established by radiocarbon analysis of the organic debris, mainly charcoal fragments, found at the bottom of slag-pit furnaces or by dating archaeological material collected from the sites during excavations. Both methods however, based on very limited material, often provide only broad time frames for the occupation of the sites. In Mazovian Centre of Metallurgy, where several large bloomery fields were located very close to or even within the Iron Age settlements, frequently a number of slag-pit furnaces were recorded in stratigraphic relations with other archaeological features. The chronology of those features could be established more precisely by analysing their archaeological contents. The aim of this paper will be to discuss the chronological implications for the slag-pit furnaces found in such relations. The results of this assessment will be compared with series of radiocarbon measurements from the Mazovian Centre which haven’t been published so far.