Farmer settlements reached KwaZulu-Natal … The remaining 2% is used in various other applications, such as: powdered iron—for certain types of steels, magnets, auto parts and catalysts; radioactive iron (iron 59)—for medicine and as a tracer element in biochemical and metallurgical research; iron blue—in paints, … Controversy flared again with the publication of excavations by Étienne Zangato and colleagues in the Central African Republic. The followup was the formation of Kumba Iron … Although some assert that no words for iron or ironworking can be traced to reconstructed proto-Bantu,[30] place-names in West Africa suggest otherwise, for example (Okuta) Ilorin, literally "site of iron-work". In. 25-54. 2005 pg 288). The smelting process is carried out entirely by men and often away from the village. Iron ore is the main ingredient in steel which is used in various applications around the world including structural engineering, manufacturing of cars and ships and general machinery. Many African countries have vast iron ore deposits that are not yet mined. La Niece, S., Hook, D., and Craddock, P., (eds). During this time, the Oklo reactor zone was … In the period from 1400 to 1600, iron technology appears to have been one of a series of fundamental social assets that facilitated the growth of significant centralized kingdoms in the western Sudan and along the Guinea coast of West Africa. and D. Miller (2014). Some were lower in society due to the aspect of manual labour and associations with witchcraft, for example in the Maasai and Tuareg (Childs et al. Much of the evidence for cultural significance comes from the practises still carried out today by different African cultures. Iron ore is an essential rock mineral, which the formation came as a result of combined chemical reactions of oxygen and iron in marine and freshwaters.. Iron … The development of metallurgy was a turning point in human history in West Africa. Its name translated in Shona means 'stone building'. This is a particular problem in Niger, where the charred stumps of ancient trees are a potential source of charcoal, and have sometimes been misidentified as smelting furnaces. Although some nineteenth-century European scholars favored an indigenous invention of iron working in sub-Saharan … It was used for coins and currencies of varying forms. New groups of people arriving in South Africa at that time had strong connections to East Africa. Shaw, T., Sinclair, P., Bassey, A., Okpoko, A (eds). [26][27][28] According to Augustin Holl (2018), there is evidence of ironworking dated to 2,153–2,044 BC and 2,368–2,200 BC from the site of Gbatoro, Cameroon. Given the multitude of potential problems with radiocarbon dating in the first millennium BC, archaeologists trying to date the earliest African metallurgy need to make routine use of luminescence dating of the baked clay from smelting furnaces. Descoeudres, E. Huysecom, V. Serneels and J.-L. Zimmermann (editors) (2001). "[12] It is still not known when iron working was first practiced in Kush and Meroe in modern Sudan, but the earliest known iron metallurgy dates from Meroe and Egypt do not predate those from sub-Saharan Africa, and thus the Nile Valley is considered unlikely to be the source of sub-Saharan iron metallurgy. Magnetite sand, concentrated in streams by flowing water, was often used in more mountainous areas, after beneficiation to raise the concentration of iron. This would make Oboui the oldest iron-working site in the world, and more than a thousand years older than any other dated evidence of iron in Central Africa. [4] The Brazilian mining corporation Vale is the largest iron ore producer in the world. It is a major iron ore mine in South Africa. They lived there from about 1000 AD to 1300 AD, and around 1500 Iron Age subsistence farmers also settled there. The latter are usually put in the furnace itself or buried under the base of the furnace. What is the role of the Master? Radimilahy, C., 1993 "Ancient Iron-Working in Madagascar". It took over the Kumba Resources when the operations of coal as well as other heavy minerals died off back in November 2006. The topic of early iron-metallurgy in sub-Saharan Africa encompasses both studies of the technology and archaeology of indigenous iron-production. Because iron ore is the key ingredient of steel, and nearly 95% of the metal used every year around the world is steel – iron is the most frequently used metal in the world. Cahiérs ORSTOM, Série Sciences Humaines 11:85-104. Fishing hooks, arrow heads and spears aided hunting. An ancient city of palaces, iron production and pyramids along the east bank of the Nile, Meroë dates back to 800 BC. What do we know about African iron working? Next map, Africa 500 CE. The earliest sites in the Limpopovalley are securely dated to the fourth century AD. Iron technology first appears in the African continent in the 1st millennium BCE, and the term Iron Age is generally used, certainly south of the Sahara, to describe iron-using communities in Africa until the modern historical era.It thus covers a very long period of time and is used to describe a great variety … What is happening in Africa in 500CE. Fortescue Metals Group Ltd, also an Australian supplier has greatly contributed to bringing Australia to the second place. Iron smelters and smiths received different social status depending on their culture. In a village square in Lejja, located about 15 kilometers south of the university town of Nsukka in southeastern Nigeria, lies what appears to be the oldest iron-smelting site in the the world.Arranged in crescent shapes with mounds in the middle across a wide sitting … There are many different forms of iron currency, often regionally differing in shape and value. 154). Vansina, J. A much wider range of bloomery smelting processes has been recorded on the African continent than elsewhere in the Old World, probably because bloomeries remained in use into the 20th century in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, whereas in Europe and most parts of Asia they were replaced by the blast furnace before most varieties of bloomeries could be recorded. Collet, D.P., 1993. 26 jobs in Africa on totaljobs. Killick, D. (2014) Cairo to Cape: the spread of metallurgy through eastern and southern Africa. There is also evidence that carbon steel was made in Western Tanzania by the ancestors of the Haya people as early as 2,300-2,000 years ago by a complex process of "pre-heating" allowing temperatures inside a furnace to reach 1300 to 1400 °C.[43][44][45][46][47][48]. A third issue is the weaker precision of the radiocarbon method for dates between 800 and 400 BC, attributable to irregular production of radiocarbon in the upper atmosphere. In the southern regions of sub-Saharan Africa, the Bantu iron age migration continues, confining the San hunter-gatherer peoples ever further south. The linguist Christopher Ehret argues that the first words for iron-working in Bantu languages were borrowed from Central Sudanic languages in the vicinity of modern Uganda and Kenya,[31] while Jan Vansina[32] argues instead that they originated in non-Bantu languages in Nigeria, and that iron metallurgy spread southwards and eastwards to Bantu speakers, who had already dispersed into the Congo rainforest and the Great Lakes region. 2 Following the practice of Phillipson ‘Early Iron Age in Zambia’ and other writers, the term Early (with a capital E) Iron Age is used to designate the various groups of iron-using, pot-making agriculturalists which settled in southern, central and eastern Africa early in the first millennium A.D. Martinelli, B., 1993, "Fonderies ouest-africaines. Precolonial iron workers in present South Africa even smelted iron-titanium ores that modern blast furnaces are not designed to use. "Ideology and the Archaeological Record in Africa: Interpreting Symbolism in Iron Smelting Technology". © 2017 Mining Africa. [24] Archaeologists such as Craddock, Eggert, and Holl however, have argued that such disruption is highly unlikely given the nature of the site. It is a capital intensive industry that requires significant investment in infrastructure. … In most regions of Africa they fell out of use before 1950. All Rights Reserved. These items, in addition to the production of other iron goods helped stimulate economic activity, the rise of chiefdoms and even states. new iron ore port at Indienne for Mayoko iron ore north of Pointe Noire. This statistic shows the world iron ore reserves as of 2018, by major countries. This resulted in fairly harmonious co-existence as no tribe needed to be or was sufficiently more … The first component is the development of the mine, which is expected to produce 100 million tonnes of iron ore per year. Les débuts de la métallurgie au Niger septentrional (Aïr, Azawagh, Ighazer, Termit). For example, an excavation at the royal tomb of King Rugira (Great Lakes, Eastern Africa) found two iron anvils placed at his head (Childs et al. Seeking Africa's first iron men. The Anglo-Australian companies BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are second. Suggestions for their uses vary from marital transactions, or simply that they were a convenient shape for transportation, melting down and reshaping into a desired object. [8][4], The invention of radiocarbon dating in the late 1950s enabled dating of metallurgical sites by the charcoal fuel used for smelting and forging. How did this happen? This was discovered when ironware was excavated from archaeological sites in Anatolia. In summary, there is no proof that iron working technology was taken across the Sahara into sub-Saharan Africa; nor is there proof of independent invention. Quéchon, G. and J.-P. Roset (1974). and F.J. Kense (1982) Meroitic iron working, in: N.B. [7] This in turn has been questioned by more recent research. Iron Age Sites in North-Eastern Tanzania. "The Iron Using Communities in Kenya". CA Mining Recruitment Team have 10+ Years experience across 30 countries in Africa for various mining assignments. Unlike bloomery iron-workers in Europe, India or China, African metalworkers did not make use of water power to blow bellows in furnaces too large to be blown by hand-powered bellows. This is partly because sub-Saharan Africa has much less potential for water power than these other regions, but also because there were no engineering techniques developed for converting rotary motion to linear motion. L’usage du fer en Afrique. "Iron Technology in the Middle Sahel/Savanna: With Emphasis on Central Darfur". [21][22] At Oboui they excavated an undated iron forge yielding eight consistent radiocarbon dates of 2000 BC. Iron did not replace other materials, such as stone and wooden tools, but the quantity of production and variety of uses met were significantly high by comparison. van der Merwe, N. J. The nearby Djenné-Djenno culture of the Niger Valley in Mali shows evidence of iron production from c. 250 BC. de Maret, P and F. Nsuka (1977) History of Bantu metallurgy: some linguistic aspects. Iron Age farmers have inhabited the eastern half of South Africa for most of the last two thousand years. A All indigenous African iron smelting processes are variants of the bloomery process. (2010) ‘On the iron front: new evidence from Central Africa’, Journal of African Archaeology 8:7-23. The capitalized proper … of the Lake Victoria region. In the 1990s, evidence was found of Phoenician iron smelting in the western Mediterranean (900–800 BC),[11] though specifically in North Africa it seems to date only to the 5th to 4th centuries BC, or the 7th century BC at the earliest, contemporary to or later than the oldest known iron metallurgy dates from sub-Saharan Africa. Shaw, T., Sinclair, P., Bassey, A., Okpoko, A (eds). The roots of southern Africa's Iron Age are in something called the Bantu expansion. Opinion among African archaeologists is sharply divided. It can also mean 'venerated house' due t… What role do you see gender playing in the text? It is possible that this also led to tradesmen specialising in transporting and trading iron (Barros 2000, pg152). Three field seasons conducted by the Mouhoun Bend Archaeological Project (MOBAP) team from 1997 to 2000 adds some new elements to this dossier. By this date the … Additionally, Holl, regarding the state of preservation, argues that this observation was based on published illustrations representing a small unrepresentative number of atypically well-preserved objects selected for publication. [49] The demand for trade is believed to have resulted in some societies working only as smelters or smiths, specialising in just one of the many skills necessary to the production process. "Decisions set in slag: the human factor in African iron smelting". For millennia, stone-technology cultures of southern Africa relied on nomadic, hunter-gatherer subsistence or semi-nomadic cow, goat, and sheep herding. Classement comparatif et tendances", in, Martinelli, B., 2004, "On the Threshold of Intensive Metallurgy – The choice of Slow Combustion in the Niger River Bend (Burkina Faso and Mali)". In car manufacturing steel is the main material used for car bodies. It is mentioned in the book of Genesis (by the name Aethiopia) as a prominent yet vulnerable centre of co… The second component is the construction of a railway line, which will be approximately 650km long, to transport the extracted ore. Now wild poliovirus has been eradicated from Afria. "Iron Metallurgy: Sociocultural Context". For example, kisi pennies; a traditional form of iron currency used for trading in West Africa. The mine development principally involves three components. J. O. Chief researcher Diego Salazar said the iron oxide was used by Huentelauquen Indians as a pigment in dying cloth and in religious … Some evidence from historical linguistics suggests that the Nok culture of Nigeria may have practiced iron smelting from as early as 1000 BC;[1][2] archaeological evidence dates this not later than 550 BC. Steel is also used in the safety industry for personal vests and vehicle armour. This complies with the requirements for Grade 42 of SANS 936 for roadway, pavement and domestic use. Smelting of magnetite and magnetite-ilmenite ores in the northern Lowveld, South Africa, ca. (2004) Review Essay. is of grey iron and complies with the requirements for grade 150 cast iron of SANS 1034 or of Spheriodal graphite iron. There are many strict taboos surrounding the process. Smelting is integrated with the fertility of their society, as with natural reproduction the production of the bloom is compared to the conception and birth. Metal production sites in Sri Lanka used the elements by employing wind furnaces driven by the monsoon winds typical of the area. Even the bolts, screws and nails that keep the structures together are fabricated with steel. By the sixth century BC Tamilakam produced steel by using crucibles and carbon sources like local plants. (2006) Linguistic evidence for the introduction of ironworking into Bantu-speaking Africa. Before the Iron Age in southern Africa most people were nomadic and survived by hunting wild animals and gathering wild plants. Shaw, T., Sinclair, P., Bassey, A., Okpoko, A (eds). In the 1960s it was suggested that iron working was spread by speakers of Bantu languages, whose original homeland has been located by linguists in the Benue River valley of eastern Nigeria and Western Cameroon. Fast, reliable delivery to your door. In Africa, unlike Europe and Asia, the Iron Age is not prefaced by a Bronze or Copper Age, but … The name Zimbabwe comes from the Shonapeople, who were descendants of the original Bantu inhabitants of the region. Because iron ore is the key ingredient of steel, and nearly 95% of the metal used every year around the world is steel – iron is the most frequently used metal in the world. Shaw, T., Sinclair, P., Bassey, A., Okpoko, A (eds). de Barros, P., 2000. Kiriama, H.O., 1993. W.W. Cline's compilation of eye-witness records of bloomery iron smelting over the past 250 years in Africa[34] is invaluable, and has been supplemented by more recent ethnoarchaeological and archaeological studies. Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa: Vol. Iron weapons also influenced warfare. [6] Although some nineteenth-century European scholars favored an indigenous invention of iron working in sub-Saharan Africa, archaeologists writing between 1945 and 1965 mostly favored diffusion of iron smelting technology from Carthage across the Sahara to West Africa and/or from Meroe on the upper Nile to central Africa. The blooms invariably contained some entrapped slag, and after removal from the furnace had to be reheated and hammered to expel as much of the slag as possible. Kush became the centre of Iron working and trade and later the ideas spread to other parts to central Africa.In the study of history in Malawi, central Africa includes Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Pringle, H. 2009. However, not every region benefited from industrialising iron production, others created environmental problems that arose due to the massive deforestation required to provide the charcoal for fuelling furnaces (for example the ecological crisis of the Mema Region (Holl 2000, pg48)). The second issue was the possible effect of "old carbon": wood or charcoal much older than the time at which iron was smelted. Shop the mobile app anytime, anywhere. Some specialists accept this interpretation, but archarologist Bernard Clist has suggested that Oboui is a highly disturbed site, with older charcoal having been brought up to the level of the forge by the digging of pits into older levels. Schmidt, P.R., Mapunda, B.B., 1996. "Changing Perspectives on Traditional Iron Production in West Africa". The furnaces are also often extravagantly adorned to resemble a woman, the mother of the bloom. Tools for cultivation and farming made production far more efficient and possible on much larger scales. 1000 CE – ca.1880 CE. This was the natural-draft furnace, which is designed to reach the temperatures necessary to form and drain slag by using a chimney effect – hot air leaving the topic of the furnace draws in more air through openings at the base. 2005, p. 288 in Herbert 1993:ch.6). Morocco and Zimbabwe also produce ore, but only for local use. The main reason for this was the increasing availability of iron imported from Europe. Most of the large structures in the world like stadiums, skyscrapers, airports and bridges are supported by a steel skeleton. A road sign on the outskirts of Nsukka giving direction to Lejja. This funded both the conference on early iron in Africa and the Mediterranean[17] and a volume, published by UNESCO, that generated some controversy because it included only authors sympathetic to the independent-invention view.[18]. Although the origins of iron working in Africa have been the subject of scholarly interest since the 1860s, it is still not known whether this technology diffused into sub-Saharan Africa from the Mediterranean region, or whether it was invented there independently of iron working elsewhere. Its durability over copper meant that it was used to make many tools from farming pieces to weaponry. Shaw, T., Sinclair, P., Bassey, A., Okpoko, A (eds). The control of iron production was often by ironworkers themselves, or a "central power" in larger societies such as kingdoms or states (Barros 2000, p. The international consumption of iron ore is growing by around 10% every year, and the main consumers are Japan, China, Korea, the European Union and the United States. Ironworkers became experts in rituals to encourage good production and to ward off bad spirits, including song and prayers, plus the giving of medicines and even sacrifices. We’ll get you noticed. This city rose during Africa's Iron Age. For women to touch any of the materials or be present could jeopardise the success of the production. [37] Natural draft furnaces were particularly characteristic of African savanna woodlands, and were used in two belts – across the Sahelian woodlands from Senegal in the west to Sudan in the east, and in the Brachystegia-Julbenardia (miombo) woodlands from southern Tanzania south to northern Zimbabwe. Shaw, T., Sinclair, P., Bassey, A., Okpoko, A (eds). The African countries in which iron ore production for export and local use is most prevalent are South Africa, Algeria and Mauritania. Iron smelting and forging technologies may have existed in West Africa among the Nok culture of Nigeria as early as the sixth century B.C. Iron ore deposits found in abundance in Nigeria, West Africa with up to 3 billion tonnes are in Nigerian states like Kaduna, Enugu, Kogi, Niger, Kwara, Bauchi and Zamfara. Prospection archéologique du massif du Termit (Niger). Mining Iron Ore in Africa. The myth of Meroe and the African Iron Age. If you travel east of the Kalahari Desert and search between the Limpopo and Zambezi Rivers, you will find the ruins of what was once Great Zimbabwe. [3] Evidence also exists for earlier iron metallurgy in parts Nigeria, Cameroon, and Central Africa, possibly from as early as around 2,000 BC. ), Ferrous metallurgy § Africa south of the Sahara, "Iron and its influence on the prehistoric site of Lejja", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Iron_metallurgy_in_Africa&oldid=992870367, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2016, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Killick, D. 2004. Review Essay: "What Do We Know About African Iron Working?". [25], In the Nsukka region of southeast Nigeria (now Igboland), archaeological sites containing iron smelting furnaces and slag have been excavated dating to 750 BC in Opi (Augustin Holl 2009) and 2,000 BC in Lejja (Pamela Eze-Uzomaka 2009). [4], In 2014, archaeo-metallurgist Manfred Eggert argued that, though still inconclusive, the evidence overall suggests an independent invention of iron metallurgy in Sub-Saharan Africa. The fuel used was invariably charcoal, and the products were the bloom (a solid mass of iron) and slag (a liquid waste product). It left millions of people paralysed and forced them to use iron lungs to survive. Small finely worked stone implements known as microliths became more common, while the heavier scrapers and points of the Middle Stone Age appeared less frequently. "New Evidence on Early Iron-Smelting from Southeastern Nigeria". 1, pp. Independence: 17 August 1960 Area: 267,667 km2 Mining fact: In the 1970s, uranium was mined in Gabon to supply the French nuclear power industry. In. 1, pp. [7] In 2007 privately owned British firm Mining Projects Development said it had found large deposits of iron ore at the Zanaga site in Lekoumou region, in … The residents of Mapungubwe were, like the people of Thulamela, the ancestors of the Shona people of southern Africa. Ehret, C. (2000) The establishment of iron-working in Eastern, Central and South Africa: linguistic Inferences on technological history. Archaeological evidence clearly indicates that starting in the first century BC, iron and cereal agriculture (millet and sorghum) spread together southward from southern Tanzania and northern Zambia, all the way to the eastern Cape region of present South Africa by the third of fourth century AD. Then, one day, they were smelting (making) iron. Iron in sub-Saharan Africa. Iron was used for personal adornment in jewelry, impressive pieces of artwork and even instruments. A nineteenth-century Ruhr in central Africa. Person, G. Quéchon and J.-F. Saliège (1992). [4] According to archaeometallurgist Manfred Eggert, "Carthage cannot be reliably considered the point of origin for sub-Saharan iron ore reduction. Trigger, B. G. (1969). In both these stages the Bantu expansion seems to have coincided fairly closely with the spread of the Iron Age; and, if the spread of the Iron Age through the area north of the southern woodlands can now be traced in something like the detail which we already have for Zambia and Rhodesia, the mystery of the Bantu … P. 288 in Herbert 1993: ch.6 ) employing wind furnaces driven the. Agricultural revolution, driven by the name Aethiopia ) as a prominent yet vulnerable centre of co… Introduction technological! 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