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Classical Studies
Classical Studies 2700A/B
Les Murison

IRON -Proper bronze and iron – places of interest for us – Anatolia (place of metal working/making) – this is where iron working starts (along with bronze and copper working)…also southern Austria -iron ores – some are polished other aren’t and there are different impressions -there is meteoric iron (the idea that iron comes from meteors) -oxides were most common ores worked in the ancient world and meteoric irons (siderolites)… hematite was also used (another oxide which was also called RED OCHER)…magnetite and limonite (oars that were used in ancient times)…these were commonly worked Western Europe especially roman times…roman period was peek of ancient iron technology -Carbonates and oxides – when iron carbonates are heated they turn into oxides (chemical process is separate then) -meteoric iron, in some areas of world this was the only source of iron for a very long time… Sumerians called it Heavenly Metal…it was something the gods sent us from the sky…in many places during the metal age it had equal value to gold -people in Americas and Inuit’s, this was the only source of iron for them until contact with Europe (where they had iron culture technology) -in the Middle East we have meteoric iron beads strung together with gold beads (this shows their equal value) -Meteoric iron – used to produce beads, pins, charms and a few knife blades (this was relatively rare) -problem with smelting iron – melting point of pure iron is 1635C (key figure in iron technology) …max temperature reaching in ancient furnaces was 1300C though…therefore there was no production of cast fire (there was no liquid iron to pour it into a mould)…pig iron comes straight from a furnace (its crude iron cast in a block – this didn’t happen either)…iron was not meltible it could not be poured and it was not cast -IRON instead, when it absorbs carbon the melting point lowers, this produced wrought iron (worked iron)…if this takes in carbon (carburised) it becomes steel. This method was to produce a block which was a big block of metal at the bottom of a furnace…Bloom - it was a mass of iron and slag combined, it had to be heated to 1100C where the slag became semi molten and be hammered out…the end product was tough malleable iron…blooms of iron have been found -archaeology like experiment – try ancient works in modern time -first metal to be reduced from ore was alloy with iron (steel)…bellows were used since the process was lengthy. The iron gets decarbonized (carbon is expelled out because of hot oxygen in blast), that makes it pretty pure…this made knives and made things super sharp -2700BC on in Anatolia objects of smelted iron show up – no furnaces have sh
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