Iron Smelting in Sudan: Experimental Archaeology at The Royal City of Meroe
The Royal City of Meroe,ca.200 km north of Khartoum in the modern-day Republic of the Sudan, was an ancient capital of the Kingdom of Kush. From the 3rd century B.C. to the 4th century A.D., Kushite rulers controlledsigniﬁcantterritoryfromthebanksoftheNileatMeroe,inpartthroughtheirabilitytoensure the production of signiﬁcant quantities of iron. The extensive archaeological remains of Meroitic iron production have been investigated over decades, and recently a series of experimental iron smelts in a replica Meroitic furnace has shed new light on the archaeometallurgical evidence. The data generated during the smelting campaigns has provided an understanding of the type of iron ore used, the construction and operating parameters of the furnace, and the workshop space created by the ancient iron smelters during the later and post-Meroitic times.