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Roman Furnace Project 2005: Woodpile and Ash Pits Photographs

Introduction ('Home')    Thermal Imaging Photographs    Woodpile and Ash Pits

Covering the Pot Furnace    Photographs of Pots    Photographs of Glass Waste    Photographs of Glass Vessels

The total amount of wood consumed by both furnaces over the three week period was just over nine tonnes - less than predicted, but still consuming about one third of the woodpile.

In contrast, the amount of charcoal and ash produced was tiny, and could be measured in bucketfuls. Charcoal cleared from the furnaces each day continued to combust in the pits, gradually reducing to ash and keeping the temperature over 600C just below the top of each pit, and at almost 500C at the base.

A large quantity of glass waste was found in the ash when sieved. It varied in size from small globules less than 1cm in diameter to larger lumps 10cm and more in length. It included one very large lump over 30cm in length which was formed from the contents of one of the pots which cracked and emptied completely (photograph no.8, below).

1. Back in September 2004. 2. Two days into the project.
3. At the end of the furnace firing stage. 4. At the end of the furnace firing stage.
5. The ash pits in use. 6. Close-up of left-hand ash pit.
7. Close-up showing a small droplet of waste glass. 8. The final state (a large lump of waste glass can be seen at ten o'clock from the left-hand end of the ruler).
9. The excavated ash pits (scale is a metre rule). 10. The excavated ash pits showing the small mound of extracted charcoal (sieved from the ash).
11. Section through contents of right-hand ash pit showing the distinct junction between ash and charcoal. 12. The re-sculpted mound covering the remains of the ash pits.

"If you build it, they will come."

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