Projektteil 07: Der Mitterberg - Ostalpine Erzproduktion in großem Maßstab während der Bronzezeit

 

Leitung:

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Stöllner 

Mitarbeiter:

Hanning, Erica (Montanarchäologie)
Hornschuch, Annette (GIS)
Körlin, Gabriele (Verwaltung)
Kuczminski, Andreji (Gafik)
Song, Baoquan (Luftbildarchäologie)
Steffens, Gero (Bergvermessung)
Thomas, Peter (Montanarchäologie)

 

Universität Bochum
Institut für Archäologische Wissenschaften
Universitätsstraße 150
D-44780 Bochum

Deutsches Bergbau-Museum
Forschungsbereich Montanarchäologie
Herner Straße 45
D-44787 Bochum

 

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Abstract: The importance of the Mitterberg area is proved by size and multiplicity of sources on the first hand. Since more than 150 years research has left no doubt that large size underground and above-ground production areas (mining, beneficiation, smelting) have ranged within the most important copper producers in the Old World. Mitterberg copper seemingly had been traded throughout the whole circum-Alpine regions especially to the north (Southern Germany, Bohemia) perhaps even to the Nordic zone.

As the sources date back to the 4th millennium research has always tried to find sufficient proofs for gradual and continuous processes that finally have reached its apex during the Middle and beginning of the Late Bronze Age. Although a manifold of sources have been counted and also partly investigated the whole area never became explored systematically. This is especially true for underground mining where our knowledge still is based on compilations of the 19th century. Furthermore the largeness of the region has avoided any comprehensive research resulting in a selective and partly insufficient state of research. The most serious shortcoming however is the lack of a regional economic mode based on production and settlement history: So the following project aims to compile available archaeological information to develop such a model. The “longue durée” of regional Bronze Age copper production is perfect for any further modelling. It is even a great chance to do so in the current joint project. So it will become possible to study the fortunes of the regional mining as economic process which certainly had its restraints by ecological, climatical and agricultural factors.

The project itself will have two parts: the field-work will be focused on technological and economically valuable data: surveying of productions sites (especially smelting sites) and their dating will allow for the first time developing a production model. Surveys and excavations at the Mitterberg Main lode area (esp. Troyboden) will give both insight into technological aspects of large-scale ore beneficiation and the temporal aspects of this process. Therefore even a dating of the main production activities seems possible – also below ground mining that today is not reachable anymore. Finally the study of the Southern Mining district can provide a detailed idea of a smaller mining district at the fringes of the Main-lode mining: there the whole technological mining process can be studied in detail. Older research clearly has given proof for mining in different stages since the late 4th millennium B.C.

The indoor work will prepare all necessary pre- and after-work for the excavations but also process all regional archaeological and ecological data into a data-base that runs on a GIS-plattform. Data-management and archaeometrical investigations especially will link PP 07 with the Innsbruck based SFB and different projects based there.

 

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