PRODUCTION ET CIRCULATION DU FER EN LORRAINE (VIe s. av. J.-C. - XVe s. ap. J.-C.)

Abstract : Lorraine was, during the 19th and 20th c., one of the most important ironmaking areas worldwide, relying on the use of a sedimentary ore, the Minette lorraine. Paradoxically, it has long been thought that no iron was produced using this ore before the modern era. A research program initiated 25 years ago totally renewed our perception of its metallurgical history. Production activities were indeed sporadically performed since the Iron Age, before drastically increasing during medieval times. Research performed allows a first apprehension of the ironmaking activities’ forms in Lorraine and their evolution through successive periods, put into perspective in the European context. Iron trade and circulation remain however largely unknown, due to the lack of historical sources. A first insight of the trade networks relative to iron products extending throughout Lorraine and its fringes is exposed in this thesis, contributing to the perception of the use of iron in different periods. A methodology recently developed by the Laboratoire Métallurgies et Cultures and Laboratoire Archéomatériaux et Prévision de l’Altération, relying on the chemical characterization of smelting slags and slag inclusions entrapped in the iron products, was employed to that purpose. This interdisciplinary work also offers new developments in the multivariate statistical treatment of chemical information, and contributes to answering the issues raised at the beginning of this work. A geochemical reference set, comprised of a pre-existing database and new information gathered on archaeological surveys performed during this work, was set up. It provides a new perception of the chemical diversity characterizing iron smelting activities within Lorraine and its fringes. Geochemical production sets were emphasized in doing so. Several iron consumption contexts were then considered, offering the possibility of shedding light on iron spreading networks during ancient times in Lorraine. A statistical approach, relying on the use of both descriptive statistical analyses and predictive modelling, was applied to that purpose. It was beforehand tested by studies performed on workshops for which the use of a given ore is attested by archaeological records. Results allow enlightening, sometimes against formerly formulated hypotheses, the practices in terms of the iron’s trade through different periods, facing our current knowledge about iron production modes. Benefiting from newly gathered information, discussions about the role played by ironworking activities among ancient societies are initiated.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 4, 2015 - 11:16:07 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-01224171, version 1

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Alexandre Disser. PRODUCTION ET CIRCULATION DU FER EN LORRAINE (VIe s. av. J.-C. - XVe s. ap. J.-C.). Archéologie et Préhistoire. Université de technologie de Belfort-Montbéliard, 2014. Français. ⟨tel-01224171⟩

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