The use of geological methods for the characterization of Roman metallurgical slag from the excavations of the Yasmina Cemetery in Carthage, Tunisia
Lyle, Nichole Maron
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The fill material excavated from the Yasmina Cemetery in Carthage is comprised of a significant amount of metallurgical slag, but there have been no studies conducted on the slag to determine its chemical and mineralogical character or its relevance to Roman Carthaginian metallurgy. In order to do so, the slag was sampled from storage at the Museum of Carthage to assess the amount and types of metallurgical slag excavated from the site and to select representative samples for return to the University of Georgia Geology Department for petrographic and electron microprobe analyses. Based on the initial characterization, the slags indicate the presence of a small scale metals workshop skilled in a variety of metallurgical techniques consistent with those found elsewhere in the Roman Empire between the 2nd and 7th centuries AD, including the smelting and smithing of iron and copper and the use of lead in secondary metal refining processes.