By William O'Brien
This quantity examines prehistoric copper mining in Europe, from the 1st use of the steel 8 thousand years in the past within the Balkans to its frequent adoption through the Bronze Age. The heritage of study is tested, as is the survival of this mining archaeology in numerous geological settings. there's details at the technological approaches of mineral prospecting, ore extraction, and steel creation, in addition to the logistics and association of this job and its environmental effect. The research is broadened to contemplate the commercial and societal context of prehistoric copper mining and the character of the particular groups involved.
The learn relies on a assessment of box info and examine produced over many many years through the collaboration of archaeologists and geologists in a few assorted international locations, and covers such recognized mining centres because the Mitterberg in Austria, Kargaly in Russia, the good Orme in Wales, and people in Cyprus, from the place the identify of this steel derives. those local experiences are introduced jointly for the 1st time to give a striking tale of human endeavour and innovation, which marks a brand new level within the mastery of our common assets.
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Additional info for Prehistoric Copper Mining in Europe: 5500-500 BC
Distribution of known sites or districts where prehistoric copper mines have been identiﬁed and, in most cases, radiocarbon dated * indicates some areas with evidence of primary ore smelting where mines are likely to exist. (Source: author). Balkans (Chapter 2) 1. Rudna Glava, Serbia; 2. Jarmovac, Serbia; 3. Ai Bunar, Bulgaria. East Mediterranean (Chapter 3) 4. Othrys Mountains, Greece*; 5. Kythnos*; 6. Seriphos* (see Fig. 1 for location of these Aegean islands); 7. Troodos Mountains, Cyprus (see Fig.
Virgental, East Tyrol* (see Fig. 1 for detail). Slovakia 46. Spania Dolina-Piesky, Lower Tatras Mountains; 47. Spanie Pole, Rimavská Sobota region. Not shown: Kargaly mines of Russian Urals 34 Europe: the birthplace of mining? knowledge, the identiﬁcation and dating of early copper mines continues to be difﬁcult in several parts of Europe. The absence of evidence in south-east Spain, north-west France, south-west England and Scotland, Germany, Sweden, and Norway is notable, as these are metalliferous areas with strong metalworking traditions in the Bronze Age.
An example is the Kupferschiefer, one of the largest orebodies in Europe, stretching from eastern England across Holland and Germany as far as Poland. This thin layer of black shale hosts a large quantity and variety of heavy metals, including copper, lead, zinc, and precious metals. This mineralization was not accessible to prehistoric copper miners due to its low grade and depth. 5 per cent are recorded at depths of 600–1500 m (Evans 1980: 130–2, ﬁg. 1). Also excluded are the many massive sulphide orebodies known in Scandinavia.