Geochemical survey and metalworking: a case study from Exmoor, southwest Britain
A series of geochemical surveys were undertaken on Exmoor as part of a multilayered investigation into the rich ironworking history of this landscape. Exmoor was created by semi-metamorphosed sedimentary lithologies, which contain a range of iron ore sources. The Romano-British iron smelting site at Sherracombe Ford was one of several production complexes to exploit these ores and excavation demonstrated evidence of iron smelting and primary iron smithing. Site investigation strategies utilised a range of techniques including geochemical survey, gradiometer survey and excavation. This paper describes one geochemical survey applied at an intra-site level to investigate a large compacted smithing floor and a multiple-use furnace location. Discussion is given to how geochemical survey can be conducted on sites with archaeometallurgical remains and how such data can be analysed and interpreted. Significantly, geochemical and gradiometer surveys are compared and the datasets integrated, the resulting plot indicating a significant potential for the application of these technologies on ironworking sites.
Reproduced with permission of the publisher. Details of the publication are available at: http://www.archetype.co.uk/publication-details.php?id=174
In: Jane Humphris and Thilo Rehren (eds), 'A World of Iron', Archetype Publications, pp. 383 - 392
978 1 904982 975