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Medieval Lead Smelting on the Mont Lozère, Southern France

Abstract : During a survey on the western part of the Mont Lozère (Cévennes National Park), about 50 lead smelting sites were mapped. Pluridisciplinary research activities were engaged: archaeology with small excavations to check extension of sites, presence of archaeological levels, ...; survey around the granitic massif on mineralisations and mining traces; characterization, typology of metallurgical wastes (slags, lining, ...); lead isotopes on mineralisation, slag, soil, plant, ...; palynology and geochemistry on core collectedin peatland.Five radiocarbon dates on charcoal linked to slags gave a medieval age (between 985 and 1277 AD). All investigated sites show the same slag typology. The main facies are a black one, often vitreous, and a grey one, white coated, with bigger Pb prills. Chemical data have to be interpreted as complex genesis for slag, i.e.for smelting process: participation of arena, addition of iron (oxydes?), lime, ... but the signification of the different slag facies is not yet elucidated.Lead isotope data are in agreement with exploitation of mineralisations located in the S-SW border of Mont Lozère Granite but not with exploitation of mineralisations located in northern one.A new unexpected conclusion resulted from results on a peat core: another period of leadsmelting, with the same chemical and Pb isotopic characters occured during late La Tène.
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Submitted on : Saturday, May 2, 2020 - 9:13:30 PM
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Alain Ploquin, Philippe Allée, Marie-Christine Bailly-Maître, Sandrine Baron, Jacques-Louis de Beaulieu, et al.. Medieval Lead Smelting on the Mont Lozère, Southern France. Archaeometallurgy in Europe: International Conference : 24-25-26 September 2003, Milan, Italy, Sep 2003, Milan, Italy. pp.635-644. ⟨hal-02561021⟩



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