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Ref ID: 22388
Ref Type: Book Section
Authors: Gilmour, Brian
Title: New evidence for the early making and heat-treating of crucible steel: Kindi's iron treatise
Date: 2015
Source: Metals and civilizations
Place of Publication: Bangalore, India
Publisher: National Institute of Advanced Studies
Notes: Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on the Beginnings of the Use of Metals and Alloys (BUMA VII)
Abstract: An almost unknown treatise describing the making and heat-treating of steel made in small clay crucibles by the famous Iraqi scholar Ya‘cūb al-Kindī (c. 800-870), hereafter referred to as Kindi, has recently come to light. This treatise was evidently compiled as a kind of technical appendix to Kindi’s well-known sword treatise - written in Baghdad for al-Mu‘tasim, the 3rd Abbasid Caliph (832-841). This gives details of many places, in the Middle-East and further afield, where crucible steel was made and compares the qualities of the metal from different places, but gives no information about how it was made, and very little about how it was treated (Hoyland and Gilmour 2006). This puzzling aspect of Kindi’s first treatise is explained by the content of his second treatise on this subject which contains nine recipes for crucible steel and various details about how this should be heat-treated. The aim of this paper is to look at the content of Kindi’s second treatise, to see how it compares to other surviving medieval and earlier descriptions or recipes for the making of crucible steel and the ways in which it was heat-treated, and also to consider the possible origin of Kindi’s information and the antiquity of this method of steel making.
Date Created: 4/11/2016
Editors: Srinivasam, Sharada
Ranganathan, Srinivasa
Giumlia-Mair, Alessandra
Page Start: 193
Page End: 197