Les Projets Ounjougou > Ounjougou > Dogon Country – Mali > Palaeometallurgy



Simultaneously with extensive surveys and an ethnoarchaeological approach, detailed studies were carried out on sites belonging to distinct metallurgical traditions, in order to reconstruct the processes and to understand the schemes of social and economic structure at the source of the variety of these siderurgies. In this framework, archaeological fieldwork was carried out on production materials (e.g. low shaft furnaces), followed in the laboratory by archaeometric analyses of metallurgical residues (slag, ores, tuyeres, furnace walls).

Another study also focuses on traditional techniques of forging, still used today by smiths in the Dogon Country when making metallic objects for everyday use.

Siderurgy history

The Dogon Country has a cultural heritage remarkable for the number and variety of siderurgical remains, forming a favorable context to analyze the formation of smith castes and the structure of the iron industry. The widespread use of the iron had a significant impact on the structure of societies and territorial management. In the aim of reconstructing a history of siderurgy in the Dogon Country, an approach simultaneously extensive and diachronic has been developed, based on the analysis of oral traditions and archaeological material.