CARBON STEEL PRODUCTION IN TANZANIA 1500-2000 YEARS AGO
Africans living on the western shores of Lake Victoria, in Tanzania, had produced carbon steel around 1,500-2,000 years ago…..
They created pre-heated forced-draft furnaces, a method that was more sophisticated than any developed in Europe until the mid-19th century. It has been discovered that near Lake Victoria were 13 Iron Age furnaces that proved a technologically superior culture developed in Africa more than 1, 500 years ago overturns popular and scholarly ideas that technological sophistication developed in Europe but not in Africa.
The temperature achieved in the blast furnace of the African steel-smelting machine was higher than any achieved in a European machine until the Industrial Revolution. It was roughly 1,800 C some 200 to 400C higher than the highest reached in European cold blast bloomeries.
The secret to the African’s success was due to the fact that they preheated the air blast by inserting blowpipes into the base of the furnace. From their efforts, greater fuel economy was achieved and extraordinarily high temperature.