Project Part 10: Mineralogical-Geochemical Survey of Historic Mining Sites



A.Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Peter Tropper 


University of Innsbruck
Institute of Mineralogy and Petrography
Innrain 52
A-6020 Innsbruck


Fahlore Brixlegg:

Ag-bearing fahlore tetrahedrite Cu12Sb4S13 (black), baryte BaSO4 (white) and dolomite CaMg(CO3)2 (grey). The sample is from the former Cu-ore mining district Großkogl near Brixlegg/Tyrol. Economic geology collection, Institute of Mineralogy and Petrography, University of Innsbruck. 



Chalkopyrite Kelchalm:

Chalcopyrite CuFeS2 (yellow) in quartzite  SiO2 (white). The sample is from the former Cu-ore mining district Kechalm near Jochberg/Tyrol. Economic geology collection, Institute of Mineralogy and Petrography, University of Innsbruck.


Abstract: The basis of a thorough archaeometric/archaeometallurgical investigation of historical copper-mining sites in Tyrol and adjacent areas is the comprehensive mineralogical/petrological-geochemical (PP 10) and mining archaeological investigation (PP 06) of new all known mineralizations in view of their potential for the exploitation in prehistoric and historic periods. These prospection campains provide the basis for the subsequent archaeometallurgical research in PP 09. In order to perform provenance studies of the metals used and thus trace prehistoric trade routes, it is a prerequesite to obtain mineralogical-petrological and geochemical data of the ore minerals, gangue minerals, host rocks and metallurgical remains such as slags and parts of furnace assemblages, and systematically collect such information for every ore mineralization and mining (smelting) site considered in this project.

The mineralogical-petrological characterization involves

  1. determination of mineral assemblages and their textures,
  2. determination of their chemical compositions, the major and minor element composition of the ore and gangue minerals as well as the host rocks and the slags and
  3. quantification of the P-T-X conditions of ore-forming processes of selected ore deposits.

In addition, an essential part of the geochemical characterization will focus on the analysis of the trace elements as well as Pb-isotope ratios of the ore minerals and the gangue and the slags in close cooporation with archaeometallurgical research project PP 09 in order to obtain geochemical proxies for subsequent provenance studies.  


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