sml logo Dark Ages Re-Creation Company sml logo
Introduction
+ Bibliographies
Blog
Blog Archives
Calendar
Camp Rules
+ Activities
Contact Us
FAQ
For Sale
Fun Photos
Glossary
Links
+ Photo Indexes
Who's Who?

Iron Smelting in the Viking Age

VERSION TWO - March 15 - 2007

ISBN 978-0-9783284-3-6

Materials from V1 (2005)

Ironwork in the Viking Age
Iron in the Viking Age
Iron & Smelting in Vinland
2001 Experimental Smelt
Reconstructing a Norse Forge
Norse Iron Artifacts

DARC Experiments
DARC Smelt - May 2002
   • Additional Materials
DARC Smelt - June 2003
   • Additional Materials
DARC Smelt - June 2004
   • Additional Materials
DARC Smelt - October 2004

Early Iron Symposium 2004
Norse Short Shaft Smelter
   • Experiment Notes

General Smelting Notes
Norse Smelting Overview
Limits of Experiment
Forms of Experiment
logo

The very first smelting of metallic iron from native iron ore in North America took place in northern Newfoundland some time about 1000 AD. This Norse occupation site, now thought to be the actual LiefsbuDir of the Sagas, is located at L'Anse aux Meadows. The first blacksmithing work also was undertaken there.

This disk is a compilation of a number of materials related to an ongoing experiments concerned with Iron in the Viking Age. It includes the primary documentation of a series of smelts using elements of the technology available in Scandinavia circa 1000 AD. The core team involved in these smelts are made up of members of the Dark Ages Re-creation Company of Ontario, Canada. There are also a series of illustrated articles outlining the work and equipment of the Norse Blacksmith.

Hugely expanded from the initial 2004 version, V2 details the 22 experimental smelts up to November 2006 plus additional materials. The collection now contains alost 2000 images, most of them large scale (20 x 14). It also contains a number of working drawings and plans.Several articles included are primary rough drafts for papers and reports currently under production.

Iron Smelting in the Viking Age is primarily the work of Darrell Markewitz. The disk also includes a modified portion of the original DARC web site, created by Neil Peterson, with additional photographs by Karen Peterson. Some artifact reference images are included, these are attributed to the original sources and photographers. Before copying any materials included on this disk, individuals are cautioned and asked to read the Copyright Provisions.

This CD-ROM has been created to operate CROSS PLATFORM. It is formatted to allow it to function on either MAC or IBM/PC computers. The content has been created as HTML - it is designed to operate inside your normal web browser (either NETSCAPE or EXPLORER).

NEW Materials on V2 (2007)

Smelting Experiments
Experimental Smelts 2001 - 06
INDEX to DARC Smelts
DARC Smelt - October 2004
   • Additional Materials
OABA Smelt - May 2005
   • Additional Materials
DARC Smelt - June 2005
   • Additional Materials
DARC at CANIRON - September 2005
   • Additional Materials
DARC Smelt - November 2005
   • Additional Materials
Black Rock Forge - Feburary 2006
DARC Smelt - June 2006
   • Additional Materials
DARC Smelt - September 2006
   • Additional Materials
DARC Smelt - November 2006
   • Additional Materials
'Redemption' Smelt - November 2006

Early Iron Experimental Group
Smeltfest 2005
   •'Flue Tyle' Test Smelter
Cooperstown NY - 2005
   • Symposium Overview
Smeltfest 2006
Peter's Valley - 2006
   • Symposium Overview
   • 'Loki' Smelt
   • Smelt Two

General Smelting Notes
The 'Econo Norse' Test Smelter
• Adventures in Early Iron
Air Flow Rates
Blooms On Hand

Bonus Materials
Bloom Consoladation A - 1/05
Bloom Consoladation B - 1/05
Weathering Materials
Selected Bibliography
DARC - an Introduction
Viking Forge Contest at CANIRON

This CD-ROM has been created to operate CROSS PLATFORM. It is formatted to allow it to function on either MAC or IBM/PC computers. The content has been created as HTML - it is designed to operate inside your normal web browser (either NETSCAPE or EXPLORER).

VERSION TWO * * * BUY IT! - and support DARC



Disk Content

Ironwork in the Viking Age
Iron in the Viking Age An overview of ironworking in the Viking Age. Includes a look at materials, tools and the role and status of the smith. Originally written for 'Interpreting the Viking Age'.
Iron & Smelting in Vinland A discussion of the site at L'Anse aux Meadows. How the geography of the site relates to the iron smelter, a look at the archaeology, and the museum's presentations. Created for the V1 version of this disk.
Reconstructing a Norse Forge An examination of the artifact evidence that leads to a reconstruction of a Norse forge. Large scale photos and plan drawings. Rough draft for a report under production (unpublished).
Norse Iron Artifacts A general overview of the forged objects created for the 'Viking Encampment' program at L'Anse aux Meadows. Includes plan drawings for a number of the objects. Released for the V1 version of this disk.
Smelting Experiments
2001 Experimental Smelt A description of the smelt carried out by a Parks Canada team in June of 2001. Although no bloom was produced, this marks the first time all Viking Age equipment was used in North America since 1000 AD. Based on the original field report.
DARC Smelt - May 2002 General description of the first DARC  experimental smelt. Heavily illustrated with photographs. From the DARC web site by Neil Peterson.
• Additional Materials A series of large format images of the smelt. Created for the V1 version of this disk.
DARC Smelt - June 2003 General description of the second experimental smelt. Heavily illustrated with photographs. From the DARC web site by Neil Peterson.
• Additional Materials A series of large format images of the smelt. Created for the V1 version of this disk.
DARC Smelt - June 2004 General description of the third experimental smelt. From the DARC web site by Neil Peterson with new commentary by Darrell Markewitz on each image. Commentary created for the V1 version of this disk.
• Additional Materials A series of large format images of the smelt. Covers primarily the excavation of the furnace after the smelt. Created for the V1 version of this disk.
DARC Smelt - October 2004 General description of the fourth experimental smelt. From the DARC web site by Neil Peterson with large format images and new commentary by Darrell Markewitz. Images with commentary created for the V1 version of this disk.
• Additional Materials A series of large format images of the smelt. Covers primarily the excavation of the furnace after the smelt. Created for the V2 version of this disk.
Experimental Smelts 2001 - 06 A two part set of short descriptions of the major features of each of the 22 individual experimental smelts covered on this disk. Available in two formats: paragraph version with a photograph from each smelt, plus a second simple chart style report of the main measurements and variables. Taken from the ongoing documentation on the Wareham Forge web site.
DARC Experimental Smelts - INDEX Intended as an index of the smelts undertaken by the Dark Ages Recreation Company. Modified from the DARC web site originally designed by Neil Peterson.
OABA Smelt - May 2005 A general description plus field data table for this smelt, using the Econo Norse test smelter. Sponsored by the Ontario Artist Blacksmith Association as one of their monthly meetings - at the Wareham Forge. Modified from the DARC web site originally designed by Neil Peterson.
• Additional Materials A series of large format images of the smelt. Shows the sequence of the smelt, from charcoal addition through to initial compacting of the bloom. Created for the V2 version of this disk.
DARC Smelt - June 2005 This smelt was a practice of the use of all Viking Age equipment and demonstration techniques. The first use of the Uber Bellows air system. Includes the field data table. Modified from the DARC web site originally designed by Neil Peterson.
• Additional Materials Some larger format images with commentary, including the field drawing of the smelter. Created specifically for the V2 version of this disk.
DARC at CANIRON - September 2005 A team from DARC mounted a major public demonstration of Viking Age smelting technique at this event. Held that year in Annopolis Royal NS, CANIRON is the Canadian national blacksmith's conference. Includes the field data table plus a short video clip of the extraction. Modified from the DARC web site originally designed by Neil Peterson.
• Additional Materials As well as additional large scale images with commentary, this section contains versions of the text panel describing the demonstration, both the technical and general pulbic hand outs, plus the original demonstration proposal and press release. These materials were originally created for CANIRON V, put have been converted specifically for inclusion on V2 of this disk
DARC Smelt - November 2005 After the demonstration efforts of 2005, this smelt combined all the elements learned for a textbook perfect smelt. Includes the field data table. Modified from the DARC web site originally designed by Neil Peterson.
• Additional Materials A large collection of large scale images with commentary, broken down into three sets : Smelt Sequence / Bloom Extraction / Examining Remains. Compiled specifically for the V2 version of this disk.
Black Rock Forge - Feburary 2006 General description of a demonstration smelt undertaken at 'Folly at the Forge' held at Black Rock Forge in Feburary 2006. Limited images, includes a table style report on the smelt sequence. Expanded for V2 of this disk from the field report prepared for the Early Iron Group
DARC Smelt - June 2006 In spring 2006 a new dedicated smelting area was constructed, along with a clay cobb smelter intended for multiple uses. This smelt was the first under the control of team members Kevin Jarbeau and Dave Cox. Includes the field data table. Modified from the DARC web site originally designed by Neil Peterson.
• Additional Materials A set of large scale images detailing the construction and preparation of the clay cobb smelter. Compiled specifically for the V2 verison of this disk.
DARC Smelt - September 2006 Another demonstration smelt using Viking Age equipment. This was mounted at the 'Barron's Howe' Society for Creative Anachronism event in Bonfield ON - a totally primitive site. Brief comments by Neil Peterson with each larger image, plus the field data table. Taken from the DARC web site originally designed by Neil Peterson.
• Additional Materials A short report which compares aspects of the Baron's Howe smelt to the archaeology at L'Anse aux Meadows. Includes images of the debris fields with comentary and drawings. Expanded from the report sent to the Early Iron discussion group, specifically for the V2 verison of this disk.
DARC Smelt - November 2006 The first re-use of the new smelting area in Wareham. A test of the 'fast charge' method suggested by Mike McCarthy at Early Iron 3 proved less than sucessful. Includes the field data table Taken from the DARC web site originally designed by Neil Peterson.
• Additional Materials Includes a field drawing of the smelter plus a number of lower quality images focussed on the extraction.
'Redemption' Smelt - November 2006 With the failed smelt of the day before bearing heavily, Darrell prepared the smelter again and ran another smelt as a one man operation. The use of gangue from the day before proved surprisingly sucessful. Modified from the draft report prepared for the Early Iron discussion group. Includes the field data table also seen on the Wareham Forge web site
Early Iron Experimenal Group
Norse Short Shaft Smelter General description of the smelt undertaken at the Early Iron 1 Symposium. This smelt marks the first time a bloom was created in North America using all Viking Age equipment. Large format images with commentary. Created for the V1 version of this disk.
2004 Symposium - Experiment Notes A clearly formated version of the rough notes taken by Elizabeth Hendrix during this smelt. Originally prepared as documentation of the experimental smelt undertaken at Early Iron 1 (unpublished). The table style data record developed by Elizabeth would become the standard format used for latter experiments.
Smeltfest 2005 'Smeltfest 05' was held at Rockbridge Bloomery in Lexington Virginia the last week of February. A total of seven smelts were undertaken, using two different type of test smelters. This overview of the week's activities includes photographs, field drawings and raw data tables. Created for the V2 version of this disk.
'Flue Tyle' Test Smelter The 'Flue Tyle' test smelter was developed by Sauder & Williams. It uses easily available modern materials to create a simple to use 'short shaft' sized furnace. This article was written by Skip Williams, and has been modified with extra photograhs and notes. Originally created for the Early Iron web site (but unpublished).
2005 Symposium Overview An Overview of Early Iron 2. Includes a collection of images with brief commentary, plus a set of Organizational Notes by Skip Williams . Created for the V2 version of this disk.
Smeltfest 2006 'Smeltfest 06' was again held at Rockbridge Bloomery in Lexington Virginia - this year the first week of March. At least five smelts were undertaken, using two different types of smelters. This overview of the week's activities includes photographs detailing three smelts, field drawings and raw data tables. Created for the V2 version of this disk.
2006 Symposium - Overview
An Overview of Early Iron 3. Includes a collection of images with brief commentary, plus the field data tables from each of the four partipant team smelts. Created for the V2 version of this disk (later incorporated into the Early Iron web site).
Loki' Smelt
Includes both the report and the field data table from this smelt undertaken as part of the public demonstration part of the symposium. This version created for the V2 version of this disk, starting from draft notes originally published on the blog 'Hammered Out Bits'.
Smelt Two Includes both the report and the field data table from this smelt undertaken on the last day of the Symposium along with Dick Sargent, ending with the forging of a piece of the bloom created into a replica Viking Age anvil. Originally published on the Wareham Forge web site.
General Smelting Notes
Norse Smelting Overview A brief overview of materials, techniques and termonology related to Viking Age iron smelting. Modified from notes created for the first (2004) Early Iron Symposium.
Limits of Experiment A theoretical discussion of the raw variables effecting an experimental smelt. Originally drafted for use by the DARC experimental iron team.
Forms of Experiment A practical discussion of the possible conduct of experiments and targets for the DARC experimental iron team. Originally drafted for DARC.
The 'Econo Norse' Test Smelter The 'Econo Norse' test smelter was developed by the DARC smelt team in October 2004, using standard firebricks in its construction. This version of the description was originally prepared as a handout for the CANIRON V demonstration in 2005, modified with addtional images for V 2 of this disk.
Adventures in Early Iron The original long text of a paper delivered at the Friends of the Medieval Studies Society of the Royal Ontario Museum 1st Annual Symposium in March 2006. This version created especially for V2 of this disk, includes the images used to illustrate the presentation.
Air Flow Rates A table of 'ideal' air rates for various diamenter smelters, as well as calculations on the air rates delivered by our standard electric blower. Modified from the Wareham Forge Iron Smelting series.
Blooms On Hand
A table that compares the various blooms produced, including size, metal content and the smelter type that produced them. Taken from the Wareham Forge Iron Smelting series.
Bonus Materials
Bloom to Bar - January 2005 General description of the workshop by DARC members and some special guests. Undertaken at the Wareham Forge. Several bloom fragments from past smelts were compacted into workable metal bars. From the DARC web site by Neil Peterson modified for the V2 version of this disk.
Bloom Consoladation B - January 2005 A written report and images with commentary covering the conversion of a portion of the Early Iron 2 'Rescue' Bloom into a working bar. Modified from the draft report written for the Early Iron group specifically for V2 of this disk.
Weathering Materials A draft report with images and commentary covering an ongoing experiment which records the effects of weathering on abandoned smelters and smelt products. Modified from the field notes accompanying samples sent to Dr. K. Smith. This version created specifically for V2 of this disk.
Selected Bibliography A brief bibliography of references of interest to users of this material
DARC - an Introduction Taken from the Wareham Forge Web site, this short piece will provide a short introduction to the Dark Ages Re-creation Company, participants in many of these experimental smelts.
Viking Forge Contest at CANIRON Part of the program for CANIRON V was a competition for the blacksmith participants. Hosted by DARC, each team of two was provided with a VIKING AGE set of tools and equipment! From the DARC web site by Neil Peterson.
Acknowlegements


About the Authors


Darrell Markewitz is an Interpretive Program Designer, a specialist in the Viking Age. He created the 'Norse Encampment' series of programs, starting in 1992. The culmination of this work was the 'Viking Encampment' living history presentation for Parks Canada at L'Anse aux Meadows NHSC. In 2003 he designed and produced the exhibit 'World of the Norse' for the Cranbrook Institute of Science. He was part of the original concept team for the Smithsonian's 'Vikings - North Atlantic Saga'. He also worked on the educational programing related to the Newfoundland Museum's 'Full Circle - First Contact'. In 2000 he created and delivered the college level program 'Interpreting the Viking Age'.

As a working blacksmith, his experience goes back over a quarter century. Since 1992 he has operated the Wareham Forge in Grey County, Ontario. Work is split between consulting with museums, teaching and creating original art metalworks.

He has worked as an artisan / interpreter at a number of historic sites throughout North America and over a range of time periods. He was fundamental in the creation of the Dark Ages Re-creation Company, and remains a driving force behind the group's museum presentations and experimental archaeology projects.

Neil Peterson is a software development Project Manager. His interest in Viking Era Denmark and Iceland goes back into the 1980's. A student of archaeology at Wilfrid Laurier University in his spare time, his publications include statistical reconstructions of rule sets for Hnefatafl, and Viking Era pastimes.
Neil was one of the interpretive team at the 1996 presentation of the Norse Encampment at L'Anse aux Meadows NHSC for Parks Canada. He is one of the founding members of DARC and has been a cornerstone participant in all of the group's museum work. He also has designed and the Company's web site plus contributed a great deal of the written and image content. He exercises his project management skills as record keeper for the team's iron smelting experiments.



BUY 'Experimental Iron Smelting from the Viking Age'
$25.oo CDN

$5 from every purchase goes to help DARC's ongoing research

Fast order via the paypal electronic payment system.


Base Price $25 CDN
* $5 to DARC for referal *
Canadian Residents USA Residents
Order the CD-ROM $30.25
Includes shipping + GST
$30.00
Includes shipping
Order BOTH
Forging the Viking Age
&
Experimental Iron Smelting
$52.50
free shipping + GST
$50.00
free shipping

It is suggested you send a confirmation e-mail to orders@warehamforge.ca confirming your name, ship to address and return e-mail address.

All prices quoted in CANADIAN funds. These prices include 'surface' shipping via Canada Post to your address. Expect 1 -2 weeks inside Canada / 2-3 weeks across US Customs. Canadian addresses have required GST of $1.50 added (note that there is no Ontario PST applied to eductional materials). For American customers - there should be no duty on this 100% Canadian made product under NAFTA.

For express (air mail) or international shipments, please refer to the information on Orders.

Look for these other related products and services from the Wareham Forge

Viking Game Forging the VIKING AGE IRON SMELTING in the Viking Age Viking Age Replicas Iron Smelting Course

The Wareham Forge

The Hamlet of Wareham, R.R. #2 Proton Station, Ontario

CANADA - N0C 1L0

(519) 923-9219 // orders@warehamforge.ca

      Updated: 25 Jan, 2008
Text © Darrell Markewitz - the Wareham Forge, 2008
Photographs © Darrell Markewitz - the Wareham Forge, 2008
Copyright details
Contact us