Mittwoch, 4. Juli 2018

SISA theory, part 1: July 23rd

SISA 1, 2018


23.07.2018: Theory 1, Hotel Piz Platta, 8:30-13:15 /18:30


Session 1, Part 1, Rouven Turck, UZH, FB PRA
8:30 – 9:00

Welcome to SISA 2018 – Introduction to prehistoric mining in the Oberhalbstein (GR)

Main goals and topics of the SISA 2018 contents are introduced to the audience.
The first paper deals with current archaeological research in the Oberhalbstein valley. Local features of prehistoric mining and smelting will be presented: Mining galleries, collapsed shafts, roasting beds and smelting furnaces that have been archaeologically documented since 2013.
A brief comparative overview of findings and features from Eastern Alpine mining and smelting activities completes this introduction.


Session 1, Part 2, Philippe Della Casa, UZH, FB PRA
9:00 – 9:45

Survey Methods

Alpine landscapes, and mining landscapes in mountain regions in particular, require specific and adapted methods of archaeological survey and investigation. In the Oberhalbstein valley, documental and both non-invasive and invasive prospection techniques have successfully been applied: Archival data mining, traditional ground survey by terrain walking, geophysical survey (geomagnetics, electrical resistivity tomography), sediment coring with augers, and small test pits. Together with excavations in selected sites, a wealth of complementary data could be gained in order to address spatial, chronological and technical questions on mining activities.


Session 1, Part 3, Donat Fulda SGTK/ETHZ
10:00 – 10:30

Geology 1: Geology of the Oberhalbstein valley

Why are important copper resources located in the Oberhalbstein valley? What kind of rocks do we find there? What do they tell us about their formation and origin?
We will briefly introduce the geology of the Alps and the regional geological setting during our morning lecture. Later on, with our afternoon field trip, we will focus on the geology of the Oberhalbstein area with its tectonic history, the necessary conditions for ore formation and the occurring wide variety of rock units. During that walk, we will come across marine sediments, volcanic and metamorphic rocks as well as rocks originating from the earth’s mantle that are partially enriched with copper-bearing minerals.




Session 1, Part 4, Gert Goldenberg, UIB
10:30 – 11:15

Geology 2: The use of geo-resources in alpine prehistory with special consideration of copper ore deposits, copper mining and metallurgy


- Text -



Session 1, Part 5, Leandra Reitmaier-Naef, UZH, FB PRA
11:30-12:30

Copper smelting slag from the Oberhalbstein - typology, mineralogy and geochemistry

Mining archaeologists and archaeometallurgists have attempted to decipher the prehistoric multistage process of copper smelting from chalcopyrite for a number of decades. For this purpose, various examinations of archaeological remains, historical and ethnographical comparisons, and archaeological experiments have been carried out. Apart from archaeological structures such as furnaces, very little if any of the original raw materials (copper ore) or final products (matte/raw copper) remain from which the process could be reconstructed. Only smelting slag is usually available in vast quantities. By conducting typological, geochemical and mineralogical analyses of this by-product, information can be gained concerning the reactor, process steps, raw material, charge composition, process temperature, furnace atmosphere and even the resulting (intermediate) product, as will be shown by the example of recently examined smelting slag from the Oberhalbstein.


Session 1, Part 6, Donat Fulda SGTK/ETHZ
13:15 – later afternoon

Geology 3: Landscape viewing in the field.


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