Surprising archaeologists find 1,000-year-old stainless steel in Iran

Surprising archaeologists find 1,000-year-old stainless steel in Iran

The microscopic image shows a piece of round steel stuck in the slag.

The microscopic image shows a piece of round steel stuck in the slag.
Images: Rahul Alipur / UCL Archeology

Chromium steel, commonly known as steel, is considered a recent construction invention, but new evidence suggests that ancient Persians stumbled upon an early version of this alloy about 1,000 years ago. Which is surprising for archaeologists.

According to the new, the old Percy dates back to the 11th century AD. In the early 1930’s, alloys made of chromium steel were made Search Published today in the Journal of Archeology. It was likely steel Made swords, daggers, weapons and other things, but these metals also contained phosphorus, which made them weak.

“This special crucible steel made of fan contains about 1% to 2% chromium and 2% phosphorus,” Rachel Alipore, lead author of the new study and archaeologist at University College London, said: In an email.

Archaeologists And historians, up to this point, have been convinced that chromium steel (not to be confused with chrome) is Something else) Was a recent invention. And in fact, as we know, stainless steel was developed in the 20th century. And Contains far more chromium than steel made by ancient Persians. Alipore said the ancient Persian chromium steel was “not absurd.”

The researchers wrote that the new paper “provides evidence for the consistency and intent of the chromium mineral, most likely linked to the charge of chromite, steel – resulting in the intentional production of a low-chromium steel.” the study.

The translation of medieval Persian manuscripts led the research team to Chahak, an archeological site in southern Iran. Chahak was an important center for steel production, and is the only archeological site in Iran with evidence of steel making, in which iron is combined with long tular bular crucibles, other minerals and organic matter, which is . Then seal and warm in a furTurned once. After cooling, the crucifix is ​​broken and a pot is removed. This technique was important in many cultures, including the Vikings.

“Crucible steel is usually a very high-Quality steel, ”said Alipore. “It does not contain impurities and is ideal for the production of weapons and ammunition and other equipment.”

The main handwriting used in the study was written by the Persian polymath Abu-Rehan Biruni, dating to the 10th or 11th century AD. Entitled “Al-Jamhir F-Marifah Al-Jawahar” (translated in “A Brief to Know Gems”), the manuscript offers instructions on how to make crucible steel, but also includes a mysterious compound. Ruskhtaj (Meaning “burn”), which researchers describe And later identification As a chromite sand.

Crucible residue containing embedded part of slag.

Crucible residue containing embedded part of slag.
Images: Rahul Alipur / UCL Archeology

Surviving coal was discovered as a result of excavations at Chahak In the old crucible slag (garbage cases left after the metal is separated). The radiocarbon dating of this coal dates back to the 10th and 12th centuries AD. Received a date range between. A scanning electron microscope was used to analyze the slag samples, which showed traces of ore mineral chromite. Finally, the analysis of the steel particles found in the slag shows that the fan crucible steel contains between 1% and 2% chromium by weight.

“Chromium crucible steel made in Chahik is known to contain only chromium of its kind, an element that is important to us in the production of modern steels such as tool steel and stainless steel,” said Alipore. Told. “Fan chromium crucible steel would be similar to modern tool steel in terms of its properties,” and “the strength and hardness of the chromium material would increase the properties required for tool making.”

“A wealth of Persian crucible steel items can be found in museums around the world, and we already know that soluble steel can be used for wire weapons, clothing, Prestigious items, And other means. Chahak is also mentioned in historical manuscripts as a place where blades and swords were made, but the accounts also state that the blades were sold at a very high price, but they were fragile, so they Lost value.

Phosphorus, which was also detected during the analysis, was added to reduce the melting point of the metal But to reduce some hardness, which later weakened the metal.

A large portion of the steel stuck in the crucible slag.

A large portion of the steel stuck in the crucible slag.
Images: Rahul Alipur / UCL Archeology

Nevertheless, the research points to a specific Persian tradition of steel making, which in itself is very important. To the best of the author’s knowledge, the special chromium material found in fan steel can be used to distinguish it from other artistic objects.

“The previous evidence of steel studied by scholars relates to steel production centers in India, Sri Lanka, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan,” Alipore said. “None of them detect chromium. Therefore, chromium as an essential component of fan crucible steel production has not yet been identified in any other known crucible steel industry. In which he said: “This is very important. As of now we can find this element in important steel products and take them back to their production center or method. ”

Therefore, researchers are looking forward to working with museum experts to share their findings. And to help with dating and identification Signature unit of this unique chromium steel.

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Raven Weber

About the author: Raven Weber

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