CRUZ Pablo Jose
capítulos de libros
SILVER ORE SMELTING PROCESS IN REVERBERATORY FURNACE (SANTAISABEL MINE, 17TH C., POTOSI, BOLIVIA): EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH TO A SOUTH AMERICAN INVENTION
FLORIAN TÉREYGEOL; PABLO CRUZ; IVAN GUILLOT; J.C. MEAUDRE
PLAYING WITH THE TIME. EXPERIMENTAL ARCHAEOLOGY AND THE STUDY OF THE PAST
Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Lugar: Madrid; Año: 2017; p. 281 - 286
Mining and metallurgical remains are numerous in Bolivia. In this paper, we focus on a special kind of reverberatory furnace used for smelting non-ferrous ore and refining silver. At Santa-Isabel, an archaeological site in the Potosi Department, we found two of these furnaces in a well-preserved workshop. Potsherd dating shows that this site dates from the first quarter of the 17th century. However, according to the bibliography, reverberatory furnaces for ore smelting only appeared in England at the end of the 17th century and spread throughout Europe during the 18th century. Thus, these furnaces were a technical innovation of primary importance because this process based on separating fuel from ore facilitated the true development of modern metallurgy. Experimental sessions were conducted from 2010 to 2014 at the metallurgical platform in Melle (France). Following Schnable?s description, we decided to work with non-roasting ore to reproduce the operation known as ?roasting and reaction?. Numerous runs using galena gave us the know-how to operate this type of furnace correctly. These experiences led to a functional hypothesis about the different components of this first reveberatory furnace. They also allowed us to distinguish field furnaces used for smelting from furnaces used for refining, even when the evidence was not so clear. From a methodological point of view, this long-term experience shows the importance of working on a used furnace in order to take stock of such types of production.