Examining the Archaeology of an Overlooked Three-Stage Iron Tradition in Lusaka, Zambia


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Archaeology and Heritage


For a long time the history of iron production has generally been thought to follow a two-stage process (smelting and smithing) worldwide, but a doctoral work has recently verified the presence of an intermediate iron refining stage situated between the two popular processes (see Lyaya 2013). In addition, there are published ethnographic works on some ironworking societies that followed the three-stage iron production process in Zambia (see Chaplin 1961; Fagan 1962; Phillipson 1968), but no one has attempted to archaeologically verify the oral accounts on this tradition. This work will examine archaeologically the presence of this overlooked iron tradition in Lusaka, Zambia. To this end, archaeological surface and sub-surface surveys, excavation, and lab analytical techniques will be used to gather and generate data for the research problem.