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BANGKOK 19 April 2019 02:25
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brahmburgers

Ancient Kilns For Smelting Iron?

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While working on rural property near Chiang Rai, a local tractor guy scraped the ground and revealed a bunch of orange circles. They're v. old bricks and the circle diameters are around 2 meters. There are dozens of them. I put a URL online about them. The site is sandy, and used to be right alongside a large river. The old riverbed is visible today, tho the river's route is currently 200 meters southwest.

At first, I thought they were remnants of kilns used to make pottery, but didn't find any pottery shards nearby. Then we noticed lots and lots of rock-sized slag, some of it mixed with glass - evidence of high heat used upon sand beds. I assume the kilns were igloo shaped, but perhaps someone reading this will have better info (maybe they were columns going straight up? There are large limestone cliffs nearby. Someone mentioned that limestone is used in the process of smelting metal. Sure would be cool to find some pure metal or other related items, such as stone bowl or mold.

post-10297-007443400 1282224923_thumb.jp

Edited by brahmburgers

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Very interesting post Brahms, and beautiful picture of the cliff !

Sorry cannot tell you anything about the kilns, but i guess you'll find some answers soon.

Good luck for your project, it seems a really good idea.

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The SE Asian Archeology website may have contact details for someone who can help,

www.southeastasianarchaeology.com

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there are so many, and so small, my guess would be residential not industrial, ovens in a village? if you can find the old garbage dump!

is it at 19 53 40 N & 99 42 04 E;? that would be interesting

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Yes, I know the original post is years old.

Iron has been smelted in Thailand for at least a millennium, so it's a possibility. (See, for example, http://euraseaa14.sharpsands.com/live/session_display/display_session_detail.php?thisID=237). That said, my initial reaction was that it was more likely to be for pottery or bronze.

Based upon far too many hours watching the British TV archaeology series "Time Team", I believe the correct thing to do is get a very powerful magnet and pass it over the area. If it's iron smelting you should pick up lots of tiny fragments of iron which will cling to the magnet. Viewing the fragments (small spheres versus flakes) under a microscope should tell you more about their origin.

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Yes, I know the original post is years old.

Iron has been smelted in Thailand for at least a millennium, so it's a possibility. (See, for example, http://euraseaa14.sh....php?thisID=237). That said, my initial reaction was that it was more likely to be for pottery or bronze.

Based upon far too many hours watching the British TV archaeology series "Time Team", I believe the correct thing to do is get a very powerful magnet and pass it over the area. If it's iron smelting you should pick up lots of tiny fragments of iron which will cling to the magnet. Viewing the fragments (small spheres versus flakes) under a microscope should tell you more about their origin.

Could you not use a metal detector?

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Yes, I know the original post is years old.

Iron has been smelted in Thailand for at least a millennium, so it's a possibility. (See, for example, http://euraseaa14.sh....php?thisID=237). That said, my initial reaction was that it was more likely to be for pottery or bronze.

Based upon far too many hours watching the British TV archaeology series "Time Team", I believe the correct thing to do is get a very powerful magnet and pass it over the area. If it's iron smelting you should pick up lots of tiny fragments of iron which will cling to the magnet. Viewing the fragments (small spheres versus flakes) under a microscope should tell you more about their origin.

Could you not use a metal detector?

No, the specs of iron (a mixture of minute spheroids and tiny flakes of scale) are far too small and not in sufficient quantity to be detected by a metal detector.

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Yes, the specs of iron might be too small, but there may be other things that you dont see, things that are deeper. If there was smelting going on, there should be bigger pieces of metal, and could be bronze, so your magnet wouldnt do much good there.

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