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Medieval Weapons Forge Found In Russia


Archeologists walking to a beauty spot on Lake Baikal chanced across the 'unique' ancient furnaces after noticing slag and clay coating on a rough road used by tourists to access the shoreline. Tests with geophysical equipment confirmed the presence of underground structures. Two furnaces made of stone were unearthed, believed to have been used to smelt iron ore for weapons such as knives, arrowheads and quiver hooks as well as parts for harnesses, stirrups, sickles, and belt buckles. Professor Artur Kharinsky, of Irkutsk National Research Technical University, said: 'We are lucky to find this. Firstly, we managed to find and save these unusual remains of ancient metallurgy from destruction.









Secondly, we found evidence of advanced metallurgical technology dating back to around 1000 AD. We will get a more precise age of the finds after radiocarbon analysis.' The furnaces may have belonged to the Kurykan people, known as skilled blacksmiths. 'Apart from the furnaces, we found the slacks, pieces of ore and parts of a clay cover which also prove the existence of a metallurgical workshop.' The site is located on a hill several dozen metres from the lake. It seems to have been chosen for optimum wind need for the combustion process. Had the excavation not gone ahead, tourist traffic could have destroyed the site.

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