ISIJ International
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ONLINE ISSN: 1347-5460
PRINT ISSN: 0915-1559

ISIJ International Vol. 54 (2014), No. 5

  • Preface to the Special Issue on “Ancient and Pre-modern Production of Iron and Non-ferrous Metals and their Crafts”

    pp. 1001-1001

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1001

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  • Metallurgical Provinces of Eurasia in the Early Metal Age: Problems of Interrelation

    pp. 1002-1009

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1002

    General chronological frame of the Early Metal Age (EMA) in Eurasia limited from IX/VIII up to turn II/I mill. BCE. The chronological scale of this investigation founded on the systematized date base of more than 3.5 thousand calibrated 14C analyses. EMA can be subdivided into five unequal in chronological sense periods. The Early Metal Age was the epoch clear domination of the western metallurgical centers – particularly up to III mill. BCE. In all probabilities the apogee of the western predominance was incarnated in the immense of the famous Scythian world, in the limits of the first millennium BCE – i.e. beyond the EMA. The eastern centers take up the initiative of westward pressing after collapse of the Scythian world.
  • Recently Discovered Iron Working Site in Vindhya-Kaimur Region, India

    pp. 1010-1016

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1010

    The Vindhya-Kaimur hills in the heartland of India are rich in minerals, including iron ore. Our recent investigations revealed ethno-archaeological evidence of iron working. Excavations conducted at the site of Raipura (Lat. 24°40′40″ N; Longitude 82°58′20″ E) brought to light a workshop of iron smelting and smithy with furnaces, forges, finished iron objects, ore, slag and ingot belonging to different cultural periods datable to a period ranging from 17/1600 to 200 BCE. An iron working community known as Agaria still lives there. They carry the legacy of ancient Indian iron working as they can smelt iron in the age old method. Thus this region has a long history of iron technology spanning over more than 3000 years.
  • Iron Smelting in the Nomadic Empire of Xiongnu in Ancient Mongolia

    pp. 1017-1023

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1017

    The first archeological evidence in Mongolia of an iron-smelting site has been discovered at Khustyn Bulag. This site belongs to the Xiongnu age (209BCE-155CE). The Xiongnu was the first Nomadic Empire in east Eurasia. Our excavation area was quite small but contained many interesting structures (smelting furnaces, calciners or roasters of iron ore, and slag disposal pits) and artifacts (a few pieces of pottery of Xiongnu age, many clay tuyeres and slag, stone hammers and stone anvil). We could categorize the furnaces into three types, but all of them had slag pits. In addition, several clay tuyeres were used at each furnace. These characteristics of iron smelting are related not to China but to South Siberia. We also performed metallurgical and mineralogical analyses on the slag, clarified the processes of direct steel-making, roasting of iron ore (Magnetite), and found the iron mine that supplied ore to the site. We consider our research results sufficient to undertake a comparative study on Eurasia scale. This iron-smelting technology was introduced into ancient Mongolia from the West through the Steppe-Taiga area and was adjusted and locally developed (or originally), even though iron production was in conflict with the traditional nomadic life-style of the ancient Mongolians. We will continue our research, to clarify the interesting process that led nomadic society to produce political system and establish a nomadic state.
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  • Metallurgical Evaluation of Farmer’s Steelmaking in Finland

    pp. 1024-1029

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1024

    In this study, we have documented the reconstruction of Finnish traditional steelmaking methods using farmer’s furnace in Möhkö by a local blacksmith, and metallurgically analyzed the materials and products associated with this technology. The steelmaking was successfully recreated in 2007, including mining, furnace construction and operation, followed by forging. Compared with Swedish lake ores, the Finnish lake ore used contains higher iron and lower silicon, aluminum and phosphorus. The produced sponge iron, bloom (luppe), had a yield ratio estimated to be 43–67%. The carbon and oxygen contents near surface areas of luppe were C: 0.32 ± 0.27 mass%, O: 1.20 ± 0.79 mass%, respectively, and those at the centers are C: 0.06 ± 0.06 mass%, O: 0.045 ± 0.030 mass%, respectively. It lacked impurities excluding unexpectedly contaminating ore and slag debris. The reasons for higher yield and lower carbon content were discussed metallurgy.
  • Northern Telangana, an Iron and Crucible Steel Production Landscape in India

    pp. 1030-1037

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1030

    Northern Telangana now lies in the remote rural heartland of India but is world renowned for its role in the past as a region of iron and crucible steel production, recorded in historical accounts and field investigations by first Thelma Lowe and then S. Jaikishan. In 2010 a joint team from University of Exeter and NIAS (National Institute of Advanced Studies), Bangalore, carried out a six-week archaeological field survey in the area that recorded 245 locations of which 183 are associated with metal-working. Locations of primary iron smelting dominated the survey results, with crucible steel manufacture forming c. 20% of the records. Further analysis is needed to resolve variations in smelting technologies but differences can be observed between smelting locations within settlements and those in more remote forested areas. A wide range of technologies are indicated by differences in tuyere size and shape, and techniques of furnace wall construction. The crucible steel-making locations show at least two different traditions using small, thin-walled crucibles and large, conical-lidded crucibles. This paper describes a preliminary assessment of the survey data.
  • An Experimental Archaeological Study on Iron Sand Smelting in the Korean Peninsular

    pp. 1038-1043

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1038

    The possibility of the use of iron sand smelting in the ancient Korean Peninsula has suggested in recent iron artifacts analysis study. In this study, an iron sand smelting experiment is conducted and a sword is reproduced based on known archeological materials. 22 kg of iron ingot was produced after smelting using 70 kg of iron sand from Gampo. Iron ingot folded and forged 15 times for removing impurities from it and then 2.52 kg of steel ingot was produced. Steel ingot was hammered, heated, annealed, quenched and tempered to make reproduced sword. To obtain the experimental archaeological data, the products of each stage of iron manufacture were analyzed. Gampo iron sand whose total Fe content was 66.10% contained titanium and vanadium. Iron ingot confirmed carbon steel and impurities could be removed by folding and forging. Steel ingot was hypoeutectoid steel that differ depending on the number of folding. The remained non-metallic inclusions as a form of slag were gradually removed over the repeated process of folding and forging. Non-metallic inclusions remaining in the sword were of a glass phase and found to contain titanium and vanadium. This supports the idea that when titanium and vanadium are found in non-metallic inclusions of a steel product, they are the result of iron sand smelting.
  • Mineralogical Study of Iron Sand with Different Metallurgical Characteristic to Smelting with Use of Japanese Classic Iron-making Furnace “Tatara”

    pp. 1044-1050

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1044

    This study is to investigate and clarify the details about mineralogical characteristics of iron sand used for Japanese classical iron-making furnace “Tatara”, that produces different kinds of iron product, natural steel and cast iron. Though the product difference is known experientially to be attributed to the difference of iron sand kind “Masa” and “Akome”, scientific reason is vague and their characterization is necessary. Specimen was prepared by separating the particles with the similar character by sieving and magnetic separation. Chemical analysis, XRD, mineral texture, EPMA, chromaticity and diffusive reflectance, Raman spectroscopy and specific gravity clarified that main difference between Masa and Akome is in the composition of particles mixed with different mineral characters in term of solid solution TiO2% in iron oxide and quantity of hematite that is weathered magnetite. CO gas reduction test showed that such mineral characters affect the initial temperature of reduction and mineral kinds formed on the way of reduction.
  • Analysis of Scale-up of a Shaft Furnace by Process Engineering - From the Iron-manufacturing Experiment by Using Bei-tetsu in Hippo Tatara -

    pp. 1051-1058

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1051

    “Iron technology and history forum” obtained the opportunity to participate in the 38th iron-manufacture experiment by using Bei-tetsu (lump iron ore with rice cake shape) conducted like in 1859 (Ansei era 6) by “the committee of restoring iron manufacture of “Hippo” (Village of Marumori-Town, Igu-County, Miyagi-Prefecture, Japan)” as early reconstruction assistance from the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.
    This experimental result was analyzed by process engineering and discovered the bird’s eye view on the conversion from the Japanese-style indirect iron-making into the shaft furnace historically and technically.
  • Pre-modern Refining Process of “Okaji” without Deoxidation

    pp. 1059-1066

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1059

    In Tatara process, steel “kera” and pig iron “zuku” were produced. Pig iron and low quality of steel “Bugera” in these products were decarburized with air by hand blowing to produce steel plates with low carbon content, called “Hochotetu” or “Waritetsu”. The decarburization in pre-modern refining process was called “Okaji” and composed of two processes of “Sageba” and “Honba”. In the Sageba process, pig iron was decarburized to steel with about 0.7 mass%C, called “Sagegane” and the yield was almost 100%. In the Honba process, the Sagegane was decarburized to steel with about 0.1 mass%C, called “Oroshigane”, without deoxidation and the yield was 60 to 70%. The Orosigane was promptly forged to make plates. Thus, the contents of oxygen in Hochotetsu was about 0.2 mass%. The Okaji process has been examined in the present work. In the Sageba process, pig iron was decarburized by FeO slag, called “Noro”, with CO gas bubbling at about 1400°C. In the Honba process, the temperature in furnace was kept about 1450°C. Sagegane was oxidized by oxygen gas in air to generate heat and the temperature of Oroshigane increased to near 1528°C. The temperature of furnace during Okaji process was carefully controlled by blowing rate and keeping moisture in hearth of wet charcoal bed. Water was sometimes poured during operation.
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  • Phase Diagram of FeO-TiO2-SiO2-5%Al2O3 Slag (Phase Diagram of Smelting Slag of Titanium Oxide Bearing Iron Sand)

    pp. 1067-1073

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1067

    To provide a more reliable measures of understanding ancient ironmaking process, an FeO-TiO2-SiO2-5%Al2O3 phase diagram was determined using microscopic observation, EPMA (Electron Probe Micro Analysis), XRD (X-ray Diffraction), DTA (Differential Temperature Analysis) and stepwise heating observation. Crystal phases were almost the same as predicted by a conventional phase diagram except hercynite which was identified only by XRD for many samples. Compared with the conventional FeO–TiO2–SiO2 phase diagram, addition of 5% Al2O3 decreased the temperatures of eutectic points remarkably by between 63 and 114°C.
  • Over-saturated Oxygen in Japanese Iron Nails of “Wakugi” for Wooden Structure

    pp. 1074-1079

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1074

    Ancient Japanese low-carbon steel, called “Hocho-tetsu” or “Wari-tetsu”, was made in “Okaji” process by decarburizing pig iron named “Zuku” produced in “Tatara” process. It is known that the low-carbon steel had higher corrosion-resistance and was much easier to forge-and-weld than modern steel. Japanese iron nails, called “Wakugi”, were made from “Hocho-tetsu” and had been used in shrines and temples until the Meiji period. The low carbon steel tends rapidly to make thin film of magnetite, called “Kurosabi”, on the surface to protect against corrosion under wet atmosphere or heating. The magnetite film is produced from the reaction of iron and oxygen. The oxygen and carbon concentrations in the iron matrix of ferrite in “Wakugi” were measured using EPMA to be about 0.15 to 0.38 mass% and 0.02 mass%, respectively. The oxygen concentration is over-saturated from the oxygen solubility of αFe and γFe. The over-saturated concentration of oxygen in “Wakugi” was caused from “Okaji” process without deoxidation of steel.
  • Recent Investigation on Zinc Production in Southern China: Large-Scale Distilling Zinc at Huangjinzhen Site during the 18th Century

    pp. 1080-1084

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1080

    This paper presents a recent survey on distilling zinc production at Huangjinzhen site dating to the 18th Century found in Luocheng County, northern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Southern China. Fieldwork was conducted in northern Guangxi Region in spring 2005 and 2010. The historical site is distributed in an area of about 1.5 km2 in the vicinity of the town of Huangjinzhen. More than 10 rectangular/Macaolu furnaces and several “bowl-shaped” furnaces and a large number of remains such as retorts, smelting slag, coal ashes, and a patch of zinc metal have been found at the site during investigations. And a lot of slag and broken fragments of retorts etc. were collected. Historical literary sources reveal that the Luocheng County started smelting zinc no later than the Qing dynasty. The typology of the rectangular furnaces indicates a shared tradition with zinc smelting finds in southwestern China.
  • Production of Silver across the Ancient World

    pp. 1085-1092

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1085

    The quest for silver through antiquity encouraged a succession of major developments across a variety of technologies. Silver and its minerals occur in a variety of ores, but rarely in more than trace amounts such that in order to discover and extract them various special technologies had to be developed, resulting in the first separation of small quantities from the fourth millennium BC. Through the first millennium BC there was a steady increase in the demand for silver, much accelerated by the introduction of coinage from the Mediterranean to South Asia that led to the major developments in all aspects of mining technology. The continuing demand led to new technologies to extract silver from copper and to recover metal from smelting debris.
  • Evolution of Silver-smelting Technology of Japan in the Middle of Sixteenth Century

    pp. 1093-1097

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1093

    Silver smelting with the addition of lead was adopted to the lead-poor silver sulfide ore at Iwami in 1533. Rapid increase in silver production occurred through the spread of the new technology from Iwami to Sado, then to rich silver mines in northeastern Japan.
  • Gold Refining by Cementation with Salt at Sado in Early Seventeenth Century Japan

    pp. 1098-1105

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1098

    In the seventeenth century Japanese gold production became the highest rank of the world and Sado gold contributed nearly half to the domestic production. The key technology of massive gold production was gold-silver parting by cementation process with salt. During the excavation of the Sado Bugyosho (magistrate office) site, in 1996, gold refining remains were found below the 1647 fire horizon. A total of 29 furnaces were found in an area of east-west 17 m by north-south 8 m. The largest furnace is an elongated shallow tray-like furnace, which resembles closely the cementation furnace illustrated in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century picture scrolls of the mine. Large number of fragments of earthenware such as clay dishes, clay plates and clay rods were unearthed. Many of the earthenware were discolored from the original reddish color.
    The chemical compositions of discolored samples are characterized by increase in Na2O, K2O, S, Cl and Ag, and decrease in SiO2 and Fe2O3 indicating the gold-silver parting reaction by common salt.
  • Mercury Gilding in Today’s Japan: An Amalgam of Old and New

    pp. 1106-1110

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1106

    Mercury gilding (amalgam gilding or fire gilding) is an ancient technique, and it is apparently attested in the West from around the mid first millennium BC. We must note, however, that only very few gilt objects have been properly analysed and that, until now, the problem of the origin of mercury gilding is generally very little researched in different parts of the world. The earliest examples of amalgam gilding in Asia seem to come from China and are dated to the Chan Kuo or Warring States period (475–221 BC). It is unknown exactly when the earliest amalgam gilt objects appear in Japan. This technique, however, seems to have been used surely since the Nara period (710–794 AD), and it was widely employed in the Edo period.
    In recent times, this technique has disappeared from all decorative metal workshops, with very few exceptions, because of the high toxicity of mercury. A notable exception is the Morimoto Kazari Kanagu Seisakujo in Kyoto, a specialized workshop that is very active in the restoration and reproduction of decorative metal details in the field of Cultural Heritage. The workshop has operated since 1877 (Meiji period) by using ancient techniques, including amalgam gilding, to produce architectural metal fittings, metal decorations of shrines and ceremonial utensils. In this paper, the beginnings of the technique will be briefly outlined, and the procedures employed in the Morimoto workshop for the production of traditional decorative metalwork will be described and discussed.
  • Alloys of Japanese Patinated Metalwork

    pp. 1111-1116

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1111

    Alloying to create polychrome effects in metalwork was developed into an important art form in Japan and was mainly used for small items of sword furniture. This paper builds on an analytical study published in 1991 on selected items from the British Museum collection of tsuba, largely dating to the 18th and 19th centuries,1) and extends it with analyses of the copper alloys of a wider range of objects, some from other collections. The alloys were analysed using micro X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (μXRF). Additional examinations were carried out using optical microscopy and scanning electron microscope (SEM) equipped with Energy Dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX).
    The results of the analyses carried out so far suggest that it is possible to track the introduction to Japan of the liquation process to de-silver copper by identifying copper objects of increasing purity after the end of the 16th century. Secondly, after this period, arsenic is rarely found in copper and copper alloys with the notable exception of a number of shakudo alloys, which confirms that a choice was being made to add arsenic deliberately to produce an enhanced patina.
  • XRF Analysis of the Seated Shaka Nyorai Statue of Kaniman-ji at Kyoto

    pp. 1117-1122

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1117

    The Japanese National Treasure, “Seated Shaka Nyorai bronze statue of Kaniman-ji” at Kyoto is 250.4 cm tall, weighs 2172 kg, and is one of the largest bronze statues made by a single casting in ancient Japan. The statue was assumed to have been made over half a century between the late-7th to the mid-8th century A.D. Since the statue has been a Buddhist object of worship, no scientific research has been conducted on it to date. Fortunately, reconstruction of the hall in which the statue is housed meant that a scientific investigation of the Kaniman-ji Shaka Nyorai bronze statue could be conducted from March 2008 to June 2009. The authors investigated the chemical composition of the statue using a portable XRF spectrometer. The Kaniman-ji statue was found to be made of a copper alloy that contained arsenic, tin and lead. The composition was similar to that of Daibutsu of Todaiji. Using the analyzed data, we made an experimental cast sample to estimate the physical and mechanical properties of the alloy.
  • Casting Sites of Bronze Bell and Iron Kettle in Ancient and Medieval Japan

    pp. 1123-1130

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1123

    From many excavated casting sites, preserved old casting objects and traditional casting factories, I have made clear the history of casting in ancient and medieval Japan. Above all examining casting pits and molds which were discovered in casting sites, casting technology can be precisely studied. In this paper, I explain that the change and regional difference of casting technology is an eloquent proof of history of metal production.
  • A Technical Study of Inlaid Eastern Zhou Bronzes in the British Museum Focusing on a Unique Figure of a Leaping Feline

    pp. 1131-1138

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1131

    A bronze figure of a leaping feline (1883,1020.5) with gold and silver decoration has been dated to either the Eastern Zhou period (770–221 BC) or the Song dynasty (960–1279 AD). All arguments that support or oppose either attribution were based on stylistic features. In this paper a technical examination using a wide variety of analytical techniques was carried out to attempt to establish its date more scientifically. The investigation showed that the feline was made by casting the hollow body and legs then separately casting on the hollow head, or vice versa. The solid tail was also cast separately but was attached with soft solder and is probably a replacement. The ‘spacers’ in the wall of all the hollow parts appear to be non-metallic or holes where spacers have been removed. This evidence suggests that piece mould casting was probably the method of manufacture. The figure is decorated with silver inlays set into cut channels lined with a fine-grained filler. The gold decoration is fire gilding, which was applied after the silver inlays were in place.
    The alloy composition and likely use of the piece mould casting method suggests that it is probably an Eastern Zhou product with later replacement of the tail and some repairs. If it had been made in the Song dynasty, the lost-wax method could have been used for this figural object. This hypothesis is, however, difficult to prove, as casting techniques and surface decoration of Song bronzes have not been studied in sufficient depth.
  • Bronze Age Metal Objects from East Crete, Greece

    pp. 1139-1146

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1139

    The excavations of Bronze Age settlement sites in eastern Crete have yielded a large corpus of metal objects. These habitation contexts tend to date to the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1600–1100 BC). The artifacts are mostly comprised of small toiletry items, small weapons such as daggers and knives, and tools for utilitarian purposes such as axes, chisels, vessels, hooks, needles, and knives. A minority of the excavated pieces has been scientifically analyzed using a range of methods such as Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (ED XRF), X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry, and Lead Isotope (LI) analysis. These techniques assist in determining elemental composition and give insight into local metallurgical traditions, which were significantly active since the Final Neolithic period in eastern Crete. Patterns emerge when comparing the results of various scientific analyses among many different types of metal objects and between different sites.
  • Sulfide Ore Smelting at the Naganobori Copper Mine Recorded on Speleothems from the Ogiri No. 4 Pit on the Akiyoshi-dai Plateau, Yamaguchi, Japan

    pp. 1147-1154

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1147

    At the Naganobori Copper-Mine site, Akiyoshi-dai, Yamaguchi, southwestern Japan, the mining of copper ores dates back from the end of the 7th century to the beginning of the 8th century. The copper ore smelting was considered to be performed near the mine. Although copper ores in the oxidizing zone should have been used in the early stages, but later the sulfide ores in the enriched and primary zones, it has not yet been clarified as to when the smelting of the sulfide ores was started. The environmental change information for the past two thousand years was extracted from two growing stalagmites in the Ogiri No. 4 pit. Their fluorescent annual microbanding information was used for dating. The sulfate concentration was almost constant from 100 to 1400 A.D., and then clearly increased, suggesting that the extensive smelting of the sulfide ores had started. The concentration gradually increased, reached a maximum in the early stages of the 1700s, and then increased again from 1900. The magnesium concentration changed, almost synchronizing with the sulfate concentration. The possible reduction of the biomass by acid rain or leaching of the magnesium ions from the soil was suggested. The records extracted were in good agreement with those partially extracted from ancient documents, ancient picture maps and topographical maps. The copper used for the Great Buddha of Nara casting has the high possibility of being smelted using copper ores from the oxidizing zone.
  • Determination of Sources of Vermilion Used in Japanese Burial Mound of Yayoi and Kofun Periods

    pp. 1155-1158

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1155

    Several remains have been found from the Yayoi to Kofun periods that used more than 10 kg vermilion. Initially it was thought that vermilion was imported from China together with the funeral ceremony. However, it might be a display of power to use a large amount of vermilion for the remains in the funeral ceremony. Vermilion is refined from cinnabar ore and there are many cinnabar mines in Japan and China. However, as it is clear from ancient documents and surviving remains that some mines collected cinnabar ore from ancient times, we selected five cinnabar mines in Japan and China where cinnabar ore was probably collected in ancient times. When the sulfur isotope ratio of cinnabar ore was measured, it was observed that the ratio differed between Japanese and Chinese mines. From these previous studies, the sulfur isotope ratio of vermilion collected from remains in northern Kyushu from the mid-Yayoi to early Kofun periods was measured and vermilion showing a positive value similar to Chinese cinnabar ore was observed in several remains. Furthermore, several remains were surrounded by vermilion refined from Japanese ore. From these results, it is thought that measuring the sulfur isotope ratio of vermilion is a useful analytical method to identify the original mine of vermilion used in remains, but a weak point is that vermilion can be collected from only one or few points in a burial mound. More reliable information might be obtained if we collected vermilion from many collection points in a burial mound.
  • A Preliminary Study of Furnace Materials from Shuiquangou Iron Smelting Site of Liao and Jin Period in Beijing

    pp. 1159-1166

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1159

    Microstructure, chemical composition, physical property and high temperature process of furnace materials from Shuiquangou site were analyzed in order to promote an exploratory scientific study on cast iron smelting furnace materials in ancient China. The results showed that raw materials were locally collected and gone through a screened process; there were at least two productions of furnace lining which used in different parts of the furnace. Furnace materials can provide enough Na2O, Al2O3, and SiO2 into slags. The refractoriness of them were about 1200–1300°C, and the smelting temperature was among 1300–1500°C.
  • Property of Bronze Knives: An Experimental Replication of a Bronze Knife

    pp. 1167-1171

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1167

    This study aims to examine the property of bronze tools and weapons through experimental replication. The target of this replication is the bronze knives of the “Spring and Autumn” period from Xinjiang, China. The composition and the element ration of the alloy, the metal construction, along with other aspects of the bronze knives of Xinjiang have been analyzed in previous studies. The alloy used for a particular knife included 10% tin, and was forged after casting the bronze to increase the strength of the metal.
    Referring to these previous researches, I replicated a knife casted with an alloy consisting of 10% tin and 90% copper, followed by repeated implementing of cold forging and annealing. I explored the property of the bronze alloy by measuring the strength of the replicated knife and comparing with iron.
  • Thermographical Analysis of Continuing Tradition of Mirror Casting in Kerala

    pp. 1172-1176

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    DOI:10.2355/isijinternational.54.1172

    Additions of large amounts of tin to copper lead to high tin bronzes with interesting combination of properties. Such high tin bronzes need to be carefully processed to avoid brittleness in compositions corresponding to beta and delta phases. The latter has been used in China, India, Korea and Japan to produce distortion free mirror images.
    This investigation is concerned with the bronze mirror from India where the tradition has survived in the village Aranmula in Kerala. The alloy has an exceptionally high tin content consisting almost entirely of the delta phase, which is an intermetallic compound (Cu31Sn8) of composition 32.6% tin. This is an ideal alloy to be polished into a mirror due to the silvery white color and high hardness. Its high brittleness is offset by an ingenious casting and polishing process.
    In addition to studying the composition and the casting involving a mould cum crucible method, thermographic analysis has been employed to follow the solidification sequence by looking at the thermal profile. It is correlated with the actual composition, processing parameters and the resultant microstructure, due to the cooling rate the alloy solidifies with a mild departure from the equilibrium phase diagram. Some observations regarding the structure of the delta phase which is a Hume-Rothery phase will be provided about its optical and mechanical properties.

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