At the living history day Dr Tim Young (an archaeometallurgist and experimental archaeologist) brought along his portable furnace, to demonstrate how copper would have been produced in earlier periods. Throughout the day he was helped by our resident glass expert Rowena, this is her working the bellows to pass more oxygen over the furnace.
Working the bellows on a copper furnace is hard work!
As well as melting copper ore to produce copper ingots Tim and Rowena had a go at producing glass, using sand as their base ingredient.
As well as producing copper Tim and Rowena produced this white hot glass.
Once the glass had cooled slightly (but was still pliable) it could have been worked into any number of objects including small bottles and little window panes.
Throughout the day volunteers provided guided tours of the Hafod and Morfa sites, including the recently refurbished laboratory building and the Whiterock Copperworks on the opposite bank of the river. To see some of the artefacts we recovered during the restoration work at the laboratory follow this link: https://hafodcommunitydig.wordpress.com/2013/12/04/collecting-a-chemistry-set/
Neil Maylan took groups of interested visitors on a tour of the recently restored lab building.
Volunteers also took tours around the Whiterock Copperworks across the river. This is the view from on top of the charging ramp.
Perhaps my favorite part of the tour were the demonstrations of the new history points. At these stations you can wind-up a battery and listen to what copperworkers and ships captains might have said at the time the Hafod and Morfa works were open. They look and sound brilliant. Over 7000 people came and enjoyed the living history, I hope that you are one of them and that you had as much fun as I did. If not come down next year and have some fun!
One of the wind-up history points, crank the handle and listen to a little piece of history.