Grid reference: 517800/3874300
Survey units: 4082-4084
After the discovery of a dense concentration of medium-sized crushed tap-slag in a ploughed field, covering almost the entire surface, we decided to investigate the field as well as the immediate surroundings more in detail. The slag had almost no CuO inclusions, although much of it was heavily weathered.
The field with the slag itself (Subunit 1) did not contain any pottery or other remains except for a possible groundstone. A small 30 x 30 cm and c. 15 cm deep square was cut in the centre of the field to check this, but nothing other than slag was found. The northeast corner of the field had the highest concentration of slag, and the rest of the scatter might be due to the disturbance of an original slag-heap in this location. Of the 66 sherds collected from three survey units, four 2-m diameter circles, and five grab samples, 15 sherds were Archaic-Classical, 7 Roman, and 14 Medieval-Modern.
Five metres to the south of this concentration was a layer of gossan c. 10 m wide (Subunit 2). This would have contained potential flux material, and together with the discovery of an adit and the presence of hawthorn (which makes excellent charcoal for smelting), this indicates the availability of all required categories of raw material for smelting. The hill to the south of this field (Subunit 3) is covered with Pinus brutia and contains some slag on the surface, but this small quantity of debris fall off rapidly towards the south.
The hill c. 150-200 m to the northwest of Subunit 1 forms Subunit 4. On the southwest side of this hill, a 2-m deep adit going into the bedrock at a 45° angle was found. It was mostly collapsed or filled in but nevertheless a few pieces of pottery were found in front of it.
Subunit 5 is an exposed bulldozer cut in the hillside on the northwest side of the hill, running to the northwest edge of Subunit 4. It contained some slag, but most importantly stratified layers of pottery with many handles, on top of very friable pillow lava. The north face and the top of the hill also contained large quantities of tile as well as coarse and fine ware.
Subunit 6, the ploughed field with dense scatters of pottery, tile, slag and rocks, right across from the Subunit 1 and to the south and southeast of Subunit 4, was only briefly investigated with a grab sample of pottery collected at the end.
We are probably dealing here with the remains of a small self-contained settlement where some metal was produced, and where all the necessary raw material could be found within a 600 m radius. It is however still unclear at this point whether the metallurgical production was the prime reason for its location, or whether it was only one of several activities.