Toffolo, Luca (2013) Studio dell’antico sito metallurgico di Misérègne (Fénis, AO): la miniera, le scorie. [Magistrali biennali]
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Mining operations in the Aosta Valley ended in 1979, when the Cogne Mine was abandoned. However this territory preserves the traces of an ancient mining activity. In 1776 Nicolis de Robilant recognized the Roman mining-style in the Servette Mine, in Saint-Marcel Valley (AO). The first attempt to demonstrate archaeometrically the Roman origin of the Servette Mine was carried by Tumiati et al. (2005) However they only obtained High Medieval ages by radiocarbon dating of charcoal fragments included in metallurgical slags. Further 14C dating of metallurgical slags from the site of Misérègne (Fénis, AO) was documented in my bachelor thesis. Calibrated ages for the metallurgical activity responsible of the slag production are between the 4th and the 1st century BC (see appendix A. 1.; Toffolo et al., in print), which predate the Roman conquer of the Aosta Valley, dated to 25 B.C. These are the oldest ages ever obtained on metallurgical slags in the Aosta Valley. The aim of this thesis is to characterize for the first time the metallurgical slags from Misérègne by the mineralogical and petrological point of view, following the same approach as in previous studies on ancient slags by Saez et al. (2003), Tumiati et al., (2005) and Addis (2013). This thesis starts with a general outline of the mining district of the Piedmont Zone in the Aosta Valley, which metallurgical activity in Misérègne is directly linked to; in the next chapter, an overview of the extractive metallurgy of copper, necessary to introduce slags, is then provided; the thesis ends with a geothermometrical study applied to the slags, which combined with the mineralogical and microtextural observations, allowed me to gain information on the adopted metallurgical technologies.
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