Gilberto Artioli, Benno Baumgarten, Marcello Marelli, Barbara Giussani, Sandro Recchia, Paolo Nimis, Ilaria Giunti, Ivana Angelini and Paolo Omenetto
Chemical and isotopic tracers in Alpine copper deposits: geochemical links between mines and metal

Geo.Alp 5, 2008, p. 139–148

Tracing the provenance of ore minerals used in prehistoric and historic times for copper smelting and extraction is a very hot topic in modern archaeometallurgy. To aid metal provenancing studies, a database of fully characterized Alpine copper mineralisations is being developed as the fundamental reference frame for metal extraction and diffusion in the past. A preliminary account of the protocols and scopes guiding the database development is presented, together with the advanced strategies of multivariate chemometric techniques presently used to interrogate the database and discriminate the ore mineral provenance. It is prospected that the availability of such unprecedented and complete amount of data of Alpine copper deposits may also yield interesting information concerning the geochemical and minerogenetic intepretation of the deposits themselves. Examples of archaeometallurgical applications are provided concerning copper metal provenance from the Agordo area, Veneto, and the recently found prehistoric slags from Milland/Millan, South Tyrol/Alto Adige.

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