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Les métallurgies associées de la fin du XIIIe siècle au XVe siècle : L’argent, les cuivres et le plomb à Castel-Minier (Ariège, France)

Abstract : For several decades, the central Pyrenees have been the subject of multidisciplinary researches, which deal with medieval mining and metallurgical activities. In the ancient viscounty of Couserans, archaeological excavations unearthed the site of Castel-Minier, which played a major role in mining and metals production between the late 13th and 15th centuries. The artefacts uncovered have highlighted the polymetallic activities of the workshop, which is characterized by the practice of several metallurgies concerning silver, copper and its alloys and lead. Our work aims, on the one hand, to identify the nature and origin of the mineral resources that supply the site and, on the other hand, to understand the functional organisation of the different workspaces through the restitution of the chaînes opératoires. Our research is carried out in a multidisciplinary perspective, combining the study of textual and iconographic sources, the results of archaeological excavations and data from the archaeometric studies of the metallurgical artefacts. The results show, besides the transformation of argentiferous galena to extract silver, the production of desilvered lead, unalloyed copper and antimony-lead bronze, or caldarium. Each chaîne opératoire is subject to a detailed study in which technical practices are discussed, as well as the forms and qualities of production. The association of several metallurgical activities in Castel-Minier workshops is an opportunity to address the issue of workers' multi-skilling and expertise, and also to discuss their adaptability according to the mining opportunities and the expectations of the metals market.
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Julien Flament. Les métallurgies associées de la fin du XIIIe siècle au XVe siècle : L’argent, les cuivres et le plomb à Castel-Minier (Ariège, France). Histoire. Université d'Orléans, 2017. Français. ⟨tel-01956682⟩

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