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Article

Reconstruction of 16th–17th Century Lead Smelting Processes on the Basis of Slag Properties: A Case Study from Sławków, Poland

1
Institute of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Silesia, Będzińska 60, 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland
2
Department of General Geology and Geotourism, Faculty of Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Protection, AGH, Al. Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Kraków, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2020, 10(11), 1039; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10111039
Received: 3 November 2020 / Revised: 18 November 2020 / Accepted: 19 November 2020 / Published: 20 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy, Trace Elements and Isotopic Tracers in Archaeometallurgy)
The study focuses on the reconstruction of the technological process in the 16th–17th century lead smelter in Sławków based on chemical and petrographic analyzes of slags. There are three main types of material at the landfill: glassy, crystalline, and weathered. Glassy slags are made of amorphous phase in which crystals of pyroxene, willemite, olivine, wüstite, and lead oxide appear. Crystalline slags are composed of wollastonite, rankinite, melilite, anorthite, quartz, and Fe oxides. Weathered slags have a composition similar to glassy slags, but they also contain secondary phases: anglesite and cerussite. Chemical analyzes confirmed that the smelter used sulphide ores, which were roasted, and the main addition to the charge was quartz sand. The smelting process took place in a brick-built furnace, under reducing conditions, with varied oxygen fugacity ranging from WM to MH buffer. The slag characteristics show a knowledge of the workers in the field of smelting methods. The addition of SiO2 allowed for the binding of elements that could contaminate the obtained lead, and at the same time, the low melting point of the material (1150 °C) and the melt viscosity (logη = 1.34 for 1150 °C) was maintained, enabling the effective separation of liquid lead. View Full-Text
Keywords: slags; archaeometry; archaeology; lead; zinc; silver; smelting; reconstruction; melt modelling slags; archaeometry; archaeology; lead; zinc; silver; smelting; reconstruction; melt modelling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Warchulski, R.; Szczuka, M.; Kupczak, K. Reconstruction of 16th–17th Century Lead Smelting Processes on the Basis of Slag Properties: A Case Study from Sławków, Poland. Minerals 2020, 10, 1039. https://doi.org/10.3390/min10111039

AMA Style

Warchulski R, Szczuka M, Kupczak K. Reconstruction of 16th–17th Century Lead Smelting Processes on the Basis of Slag Properties: A Case Study from Sławków, Poland. Minerals. 2020; 10(11):1039. https://doi.org/10.3390/min10111039

Chicago/Turabian Style

Warchulski, Rafał, Monika Szczuka, and Krzysztof Kupczak. 2020. "Reconstruction of 16th–17th Century Lead Smelting Processes on the Basis of Slag Properties: A Case Study from Sławków, Poland" Minerals 10, no. 11: 1039. https://doi.org/10.3390/min10111039

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