The sacred nature of iron is obvious. It is filled with the power of sacrum, irrespectively of whether it has fallen from the canopy of the heavens or has been mined from the bowels of the earth.
(...) amongst distant indications of spiritual crisis of the modern world there is also a demiurgic dream of metallurgists, smiths and alchemists. It will prove beneficial if a historiographical awareness of the western man uncovers relation with activities and ideals of the distant ancestors – even if the modern man being an heir of all these myths and dreams managed to fulfill them only after he had distanced himself from their original meaning.
The present website has been created for the people interested in cultural heritage not only of the Świętokrzyskie region. Our main focus is on the heritage of the antiquity as the ‘Dymarki’ archaeological festival is connected with this very historical period. We hope that those who search for information about the results of archaeological research on Roman times and iron metallurgy as well as data on the current status of slag-pit furnace reconstruction process will be able to find it here. The nature of the service is that of popular science as our objective is to popularize ancient iron metallurgy being the subject matter of research on this fascinating episode in the history of our region whose results were announced more than 60 years ago.
Work of a slag-pit furnace in 2013. Photo by A. M. Bielecka
Hereby we would like to conduct a deep analysis of the current status of the slag-pit furnaces festival indicating the direction of its development and encouraging Internet users to participate in this process. Similarly to archaeological or experimental research, the process is laborious, requires patience and attention to details which may prove important. Reaching the truth and widening knowledge is not easy and pleasant, however it seems that in times when we are used to receiving many ‘products’ ready ‘on a plate’ we can achieve progress only by making some effort. In the past iron casting required such effort while at present instead of ready fully ‘seasoned’ meals we would like to serve our recipients a set of issues whose significance they will have to evaluate by themselves.
The subject matter of our interest will be mostly the essence of the ‘Dymarki Świetokrzyskie’ archaeological event which also gave a name to the project ‘Man and iron in the first centuries of our era’ launched several years ago. The project was conducted by the Świetokrzyskie Association of Industrial Heritage located in Kielce in cooperation with a number of institutions, associations and groups from the country and abroad. The enterprise includes not only preparation and realization of the demonstrations within the ‘Dymarki’ archaeological festival but also other presentations, especially organization of ‘Iron Roots’ educational workshops together with the Museum of Nature and Technology and the local government of the Starachowice district.
A separate form of our activity is the Facebook profile dedicated to the ‘Dymarki’ event created in 2011.
Our objective is promotion and an attempt to characterize the phenomenon of our interest, which may allow us to prepare a satisfactory form of the event in the near future. We would like our work to win acceptance and support of all the people for whom it is important to popularize knowledge on ancient metallurgy and the Roman times. Wide access to our website may add to the importance of the ‘Dymarki Świętokrzystkie’ archaeological event in the promotion of the region. However, it is not an asset of just a local character. It remains in line with the stream of search for identity by all of us -Europeans. Such a character of the festival is described in the available sources; it is also our responsibility to protect it and to promote knowledge about it.
Whether we do it right and with due diligence on this website – let’s leave the evaluation to our Internet users.