(ORDO NEWS) — Archaeologists have discovered an ancient ironworks workshop dating back to the Han and Jin dynasties (202 BC – 420 AD) in central China’s Hunan province, Xinhua News Agency reported Aug. 28.
According to the Research Institute of Cultural Relics and Archeology of Hunan Province, the ruins of the workshop were discovered at the Guantian Relic Burial Site in Sanzhi County during archaeological excavations.
Archaeologists conducted excavations between 2020 and 2022 at the burial site of relics, which covers an area of about 75,000 square meters.
About 3,300 square meters of the site has been excavated so far, and iron objects have been found, including knives and metallurgical remains such as copper ingots, said Mo Linheng, junior researcher at the institute.
According to Mo, the main part of the facility was the ironworks manufacturing and processing workshop, which combined various functions such as iron smelting, casting and forging.
Archaeologists have also uncovered many remains of possible metallurgical kilns, including square crypt kilns and round stone kilns.
“These relics are unique in form and have certain local features that have helped fill gaps in the study of ancient ironworking,” Mo said.
He added that many important and well-preserved metallurgical sites of the Han and Jin dynasties throughout the country are located in the central plains or in the northern regions, and the discovery of an ironworks site of this magnitude in Hunan is of great archaeological value.
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