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Title: Early use and production technologies of iron in Southwest China
Author: Li, Yu Niu
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 0900
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis studied the iron smelting technology of Southwest China. It introduces the natural and human environment of Southwest China and gives a systematic review on the important archaeological sites of Southwest China. A total of 75 iron smelting related sites of Southwest China were surveyed. Five of these sites were excavated and studied in detail including the furnace structures, smelting related materials and their smelting process. A statistical study of over 5,100 iron objects (and bronze and iron bi-metallic objects) in published excavation reports was carried out to understand the pattern and statistical distribution of iron objects excavated in Southwest China. This was followed by metallographic analysis of 66 samples taken from 42 iron objects and slags (mostly from the Lijiaba site, and from the Qiaogoutou site). The slag samples (from the Xuxiebian site) helped to identify the bowl-shaped furnaces, that discovered at the iron smelting sites of Southwest China, as refining furnaces. The results of the metallographic studies helped to characterise the range of technologies that developed in Southwest China primarily during the Han dynasty (202BC-220AD). According to these studies, some issues such as the origin and development of technology, the labourers’ identities, the origin of the blacksmiths, and the management and policy of iron production in Southwest China are discussed.
Supervisor: Juleff, Gillian Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Southwest China ; iron object ; iron smelting ; metallographic study