Remains of over 70 slag-pit furnaces found

Excavations in Kanie, west of Warsaw, Poland, revealed a cluster of over 70 slag-pit furnaces used 2000 years ago in iron smelting. The investigation preceded construction of a housing estates.

Remains of a slag-pit furnaces (by Tomasz Kołomański)
Remains of a slag-pit furnaces (by Tomasz Kołomański)

Discovered archaeological features are part of the larger complex that functioned in central Poland between 2nd century BC and 4th century AD – the so-called Mazovian Metallurgical Centre. Excavations in Kanie revealed industrial features and a settlement that accompanied the iron smelting activities. Slag-pit furnaces were a one-time-use construction that consisted of a pit and a chimney shaft. Archaeologists are able to find the remains of such objects due to existence of pits filled with slag which is the waste-product of iron smelting.

Remains of a slag-pit furnaces (by Tomasz Kołomański)
Remains of a slag-pit furnaces (by Tomasz Kołomański)

Beside the furnaces archaeologists discovered remains of utility buildings. Within them loom weights and spindle whorls were found, attesting to the diversity of activities undertaken at the Iron Age settlement. Other finds include animal bones of mainly pigs, sheep, goats, and in smaller amounts of game, including deers and roes.

(after Tomasz Kołomański & Nauka w Polsce)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *