Archaeological finds in East Sussex suggest why the Romans would have pushed for control of a sophisticated iron production line
An epicentre of the prehistoric iron industry, coveted by the conquering Romans for its sophisticated production techniques and believed by archaeologists to have been one of the finest sites of its kind in ancient Europe, has been discovered during a major road building project in Sussex.
Dozens of boreholes, 181 trial trenches and 24 test pits have been investigated by Oxford Archaeology along the future 5.6km link road between Bexhill-on-Sea and Hastings. The evidence ranges from the late Mesolithic and Neolithic periods to the Bronze, Iron, Saxon and Medieval ages. Read more.
A team of scientists from the University of Gothenburg and Stockholm University has found large quantities of sulphur and iron compounds in marine archaeological wood from shipwrecks both in the Baltic Sea area and off the west coast of Sweden.
A few years ago scientists reported large quantities of sulphur and iron compounds in the salvaged 17th century warship Vasa, resulting in the development of sulphuric acid and acidic salt precipitates on the surface of the hull and loose wooden objects.
Similar sulphur compounds have now been discovered also in other shipwrecks both from the Baltic and off the west coast of Sweden, including fellow 17th century warships Kronan, Riksnyckeln and Stora Sofia, the 17th century merchant vessel in Gothenburg known as the Göta wreck, and the Viking ships excavated at Skuldelev in Denmark.
“This is a result of natural biological and chemical processes that occur in low-oxygen water and sediments,” said Dr. Yvonne Fors of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, a co-author of the study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.