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An archaeometallurgical study of iron artifacts from Mabotse


Mabotse is an historic site of South Africa that was occupied by various Iron-Age peoples, the terminal occupation being in 1872–1880. It was not known whether mass-produced European iron had swamped local production at this time. Metallurgical and instrumental techniques showed no evidence that artifacts were made from recycled European iron. Since there was no indigenous production in the 1870s, it may be concluded that the artifacts were curated over some time, and that they pre-date colonial influence. The presence of titanium and cobalt in inclusions in the iron may prove diagnostic with regard to the origin of the ore used.

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Koursaris, A., Hall, S. & Grant, M.R. An archaeometallurgical study of iron artifacts from Mabotse. JOM 59, 22–25 (2007).

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