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Iron Smelting in Wollega, Ethiopia

Abstract
The author is a graduate student affiliated with Addis Ababa University and the University of Bergen, who is currently concentrating on ethnoarchaeological studies in Ethiopia. He has carried out ethnographic field work on iron smelting traditions in West Ethiopia among the Oromo. Mr. Burka has also worked on reconstructing iron smelting techniques and traditions that had a long heritage in that region but declined from regular use over four decades ago. In this field report, he describes his direct observations of methods and traditions of ore mining and treatment, charcoal making, clay extraction, tuyere making, furnace construction, and smelting. This ethnoarchaeological study should provide highly valuable data for other researchers to use in formulating ethnographic analogies for use in archaeological investigations of iron production activities at other sites in Africa and the Americas.
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2006-06-01
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