The project aims to compile and catalogue archaeological evidence on early iron smelting in Sri Lanka and thus takes up research aims and questions already addressed in the framework of the research group (A-5) Iron.
The prehistoric production and use of iron as a raw material in South Asia is a research issue which needs more intensive investigation. The recent project within the Excellence Cluster Topoi concentrates on Sri Lanka as several interesting archaeological remains of early iron production are known. One of the first evidence of iron smelting in Sri Lanka is dated to the 3rd century BCE. The excavation of a new furnace type in the framework of the Samanalawewa Archaeological Project in Sri Lanka (Juleff, 1996), situated at a slope and exploiting monsoonal winds, point to a high innovative potential in this region. Until today a compilation for early iron smelting evidences is lacking. This project aims to close this gap by systematically collecting and geocoding relevant archaeological evidence on early iron smelting.