Institute of Archaeology
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Edwinus Lyaya

Macroscopic and Microscopic Variation of Ironworking in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania

Generally, there is more information and over-concentration on the macroscopic variation of African ironworking (e.g. in furnaces design), but we do not know how would this relate to microscopic data, and hence the need for this research. To examine and achieve this goal, my research focuses on the following key and specific objectives: (1) examines the nature of the raw materials especially refractoriness nature of the technical ceramics, (2) investigates how the smelting and refining furnaces were operated especially in terms of air supply, (3) finds out macroscopic as well as microscopic data on how slag was handled out during metal production process, (4) examines the reduction efficiency of the metal production processes, and (5) investigates the presence and the function of the bloom refining process as opposed to both smelting and (primary) smithing processes. With the latter, the ultimate goal is devise a method to verify whether parts of Africa really followed a three-stage ironworking process (smelting, refining, and smithing (primary and secondary)) as opposed to the well-known two-stage European ironworking process (smelting and smithing).

Funding organisation

  • Association of Commonwealth Universities via the British Council

Supervisors

 Educational background

  • BA (Archaeology and Geography)
  • MA (archaeology), University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Lyaya, E. C., Mapunda, B., and Rehren, Th. (In press). The Bloom Refining Technology in Ufipa, Tanzania (1850-1950). Conference Proceeding paper in France 2011.

Lyaya, E. C. (In press). Bio-archaeometallurgy, Technology, and Spatial Organization of Ironworking at Mjimwema, Njombe Tanzania. PIA.

Lyaya, E. C. (In Press). The Use of Charcoal Species for Ironworking in Tanzania. WIC Conference Proceeding paper in London 2009.

Lyaya, E. C. (In press). Archaeology of Hehe Iron Smelting Technology at Kalenga, Southern Tanzania. AAN.

  • Refining slags from Ufipa inTanzania
  • Training to mapping with a theodolite machine UDSM students (2010)
  • In search for smithing slags (droplets and scales) in the field
  • Interviewing sons of former ironworkers in Mbinga, Tanzania

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