Iron production in the Bassar Region : an example of ore selection ?

Abstract : The Bassar Region is one of the most productive iron-making areas in West Africa. Philip de Barros’ researches have shown an early beginning of iron production, BCE, and an intensification from the XIVth century. During this last period, the quantity of iron produced must have exceeded local needs to integrate supra-regional markets. New researches in the Bassar Region began in 2013 with the SIDERENT project selected by the French national researches agency (ANR). One of the main aims of the project is to establish the connection between the ores used and the iron-making workshops. The first results show, from the XIIth century, the selection of one and the same particular type of ore in the most productive sites, despite the diversity of raw materials available (ferruginous sandstone, hematite…). On the basis of the mineralogical and chemical analyses of ores and slags, the relationship between the type of raw materials used and the quality of metal produced, the techniques employed or the degree of efficiency of the metallurgical operations will be discussed. A comparison with the preliminary results obtained in the Dendi Region (Benin) will be presented.
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Conference papers
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https://hal-univ-tlse2.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01985086
Contributor : Marie-Pierre Coustures <>
Submitted on : Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 3:44:40 PM
Last modification on : Monday, April 29, 2019 - 4:33:30 PM

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Marie-Pierre Coustures, Caroline Robion-Brunner, Didier Béziat. Iron production in the Bassar Region : an example of ore selection ?. 23rd biennal meeting of the Society of Africanist Archaeologists, Jun 2016, Toulouse, France. ⟨hal-01985086⟩

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