Monday, May 01, 2017

Another season at Point Rosee

...but they still don't have much

Once again I do find an archaeological team that appears to have only limited understanding of the historic bloomery iron smelting process.
But at the same time the entire focus of this excavation involves evidence related to that exact process.  

Primary Bog Iron Ore
- is found all over Newfoundland. Not quite any time you lift a block of peat turf (but pretty close!)

- A concentration of bog ore (finally reported as 8 - 9 kg) *might* represent a human gathered deposit. It might also indicate a chance concentration by water deposit.

- I still notice that there has been absolutely no mention at all if the ore found was roasted or not. Natural bog ore (fe2O3) is not magnetic. After roasting (Fe3O4) * is * magnetic. This is a 5 second test that you can do in the field. Why has this never been done?

- Part of the evidence was a 'dark deposit' on the surface of a single stone. - One stone does not make a furnace. - You smacked off the surface with a heavy sledge hammer?

- The iron smelting process is an involved one, requiring considerable preparation of equipment (a furnace at least) plus raw materials (ore, charcoal).
This furnace operates for hours at extremely high temperatures (1100 - 1300 C). The overall process leaves remains that are :
- specific
- highly durable
- extensive
There is no mention of any of these remains being found.

- I note that in this report, Dr Birgitta Wallace is often shown, but given very little chance to speak.
I have to agree with her opinion that this location holds nothing that specifically illustrates a Norse presence.

At least in what has been reported so far.

I'll be traveling close by to Port Rosee this summer on my way up to L'Anse aux Meadows - to undertake a Norse historical iron smelt no less. I will attempt to see if I can get view of this excavation on my way through??


Anonymous said...

So what has been found, oh metallurgical guru?

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just finished Nova's Vikings Unearthed and they do mention that the Bog Ore sample was roasted. It is around 1:49:00 at the end of the program.

xlinknz said...

Hi thank you for your blog I found it as I was following up [searching] for any updates on the original 2016 excavations and work

Yes I am sure if something compelling is found and has less ambiguity we'll hear all about it

That said never say never I think it is inevitable something will be found although that may not be at Point Rosee. I wonder if the iron they have found has been compared to the slag and any roasted bog iron found at L'Anse aux Meadows ?

robert said...

I travelled to the Codroy Valley in August and was told that NO ONE had shown up to do any archaeological work at Point Rosee over this past year. I talked to the local lighthouse keeper and also a local historian and they told me that the area was farmed / grazed for several years.
So are we looking at some discovered ancient farming remains from the 1900's?

Sandy B. said...

Cool stuff! Today it's 17 October 2017. What, if anything, did you see or hear or read or learn about Port Rosee and potential Viking evidence this past summer?

Unknown said...

At the end of the NOVA episode "Vikings Unearthed", tests confirm that the ore had been roasted. Good program; I just saw it this weekend.

Anonymous said...

With technology at one's hand one would think that at the least these archeologists could have had a metal detector with them. Maybe that would take the fun out of it all though.


February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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