Vol. 70 No. 3 (2018): Special Issue - Iron in Archaeology: Bloomery Smelters and Blacksmiths in Europe and Beyond
Research Article

Modelling of bloomery processes in a medieval Russian furnace

Vladimir Zavyalov
Institute of Archaeology RAS, ul. Dm. Ulyanova 19, 117036 Moscow

Published 01-10-2018


  • bloomery process,
  • modelling,
  • furnace,
  • metallography

How to Cite

Zavyalov, V. (2018). Modelling of bloomery processes in a medieval Russian furnace. Archeologické Rozhledy, 70(3), 450–456. https://doi.org/10.35686/AR.2018.24


A fully preserved 14th-century AD bloomery furnace was excavated in 2014 on the settlement of Kolesovka-4 (Russia, Tula district). This extraordinary find has been taken as a model for experimental work. The iron ore used came from the Loknya River, a metallurgical conglomerate used came from the archaeological site of Staraya Ryazan. The most successful result was achieved by using the conglomerate from Staraya Ryazan – three pieces of blooms were made, weighing about 1 kg, and consisting of soft iron and a large number of very coarse slag inclusions. These show a similar trace-element composition as the medieval bloom coming
from the same site. Experiments conducted have shown that the bloomery furnace uncovered at the Kolesovka-4 settlement is a rational pyrotechnological construction, allowing for a large number of smelting cycles.


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