Българско е-Списание за Археология, Vol 12, Iss 1 (2022)
Association of Bulgarian Archaeologists, 2022.
The research subject is the newly discovered Early Medieval metallurgical complex Brestnitsa–Poleto in northwestern Bulgaria. The preliminary results of the conducted excavations and laboratory analyses presented here focus on the discovered bloomery structures and related finds in order to clarify the chronology and architecture of the features, as well as the technological processes. The dating of the archaeological structures derives from field observations of the horizontal stratigraphy, the characteristics of the ceramic complex, the metal finds and from the radiocarbon samples. To clarify the technology, many ore pieces, slags and blooms have been analysed. Basic analytical techniques include XRD, XRF and optical microscopy. The results of the research prove that there was a hitherto unknown bloomery centre with a settlement in the Poleto locality, which is the first fully studied Early Medieval iron making complex in the Balkan Peninsula.