Alpine Copper II – Alpenkupfer II – Rame delle Alpi II – Ciuvre des Alpes II. New Results and Perspectives on Prehistoric Copper Production


Rouven Turck (ed)
University of Zürich
Thomas Stöllner (ed)
Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum / University of Bochum
Gert Goldenberg (ed)
University of Innsbruck


alpine copper production, metal provenance studies, mining, social interactions, spatial interactions, technology, trade, prehistoric smelting


The exploitation of copper deposits in the mountainous areas of the Alps gained enormous economic importance particularly in the 2nd and 1st millennium B.C., as Alpine copper began to play a central role in the metal supply of Europe. This volume summarises the current state of research on prehistoric Alpine copper exploitation from the western and southern Alps to the gates of Vienna in the eastern Alps. The 23 papers were originally presented as contributions to a conference held in September 2016 at the University of Innsbruck, which covered topics such as mountain landscapes, mining, beneficiation, smelting and the metal trade in the Bronze and Early Iron Ages. A particular focus of the present volume is the D-A-CH-funded project on ‘Prehistoric copper production in the Eastern and Central Alps: technical, social and economic dynamics in space and time’, a research collaboration between partners in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The various contributions provide new perspectives on the questions surrounding fahlore and the different technological processes within the framework of a broader ‘chaîne opératoire’. Even with the current stage of research, it is already possible to sketch how different Alpine regions adapted more general technological and economic trends surrounding copper exploitation in very different ways.


  • Front matter and content
  • Preface
    Thomas Stöllner, Rouven Turck, Gert Goldenberg
  • Enmeshment within resource-scapes – Eastern Alpine copper production of the Bronze and Early Iron Age
    Thomas Stöllner
  • Bronze Age copper production in Kitzbühel, Tyrol
    Thomas Koch Waldner
  • Prehistoric copper production in Lower Austria – A new assessment
    Susanne Klemm
  • A methodology to integrate information in prehistoric mining archaeology research
    Gerald Hiebel, Gert Goldenberg, Caroline Grutsch, Klaus Hanke, Markus Staudt
  • Early Bronze Age copper extraction(s) in the Grandes Rousses Massif (Isère and Savoy departments, France)
    Bernard Moulin, Eric Thirault, Joël Vital
  • Prehistoric mining in a small medieval mining district in Montafon, Vorarlberg (Austria)
    Rudolf Klopfer, Astrid Stobbe, Rüdiger Krause
  • Prospecting for copper – Mineralogical and first mining archaeological surveys in western North Tyrol, Austria
    Caroline Grutsch, Klaus-Peter Martinek, Peter Tropper, Joachim Lutz
  • Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age fahlore mining in the Lower Inn Valley (North Tyrol, Austria)
    Markus Staudt, Gert Goldenberg, Manuel Scherer-Windisch, Kurt Nicolussi, Thomas Pichler
  • Mineral-chemical characterisation of chalcopyrites and fahlore-group minerals from selected Cu-ore deposits in the Eastern Alps
    Peter Tropper, Gert Goldenberg, Matthias Krismer, Daniel Bechter, Martin Steiner, Hans-Peter Viertler, Franz Vavtar
  • Between mining and smelting in the Bronze Age – Beneficiation processes in an Alpine copper producing district
    Results of 2008 to 2017 excavations at the “Sulzbach-Moos”-bog at the Mitterberg (Salzburg, Austria)
    Thomas Stöllner
  • Some provisional results of experiments undertaken using a reconstructed sluice box an attempt to try and reproduce the methods of washing and concentrating chalcopyrite at the Middle Bronze Age ore processing site of Troiboden, Mitterberg, Austria
    Simon Timberlake
  • Organising smelting places. A keynote on Iron Age copper smelting in the Oberhalbstein (Canton of Grisons, Switzerland)
    Rouven Turck
  • Copper smelting slag from the Oberhalbstein (Canton of Grisons, Switzerland)
    Methodological considerations on typology and morphology
    Leandra Reitmaier-Naef
  • Dendrochronological dating of charcoal from high-altitude prehistoric copper mining and smelting sites in the Oberhalbstein Valley (Grisons, Switzerland)
    Monika Oberhänsli, Mathias Seifert, Niels Bleicher, Werner H. Schoch, Leandra Reitmaier-Naef, Rouven Turck, Thomas Reitmaier, Philippe Della Casa
  • Bronze Age copper ore mining and smelting in Trentino (Italy)
    Elena Silvestri, Paolo Bellintani, Andreas Hauptmann
  • The Late Bronze Age smelting site Rotholz in the Lower Inn Valley (North Tyrol, Austria)
    Markus Staudt, Gert Goldenberg, Manuel Scherer-Windisch, Caroline Grutsch, Roman Lamprecht, Bianca Zerobin
  • Encapsulated industrial processes: slag-tempered ceramics and its implications for prehistoric metallurgy in the Lower Inn Valley (North Tyrol, Austria)
    Peter Tropper, Markus Staudt, Ulrike Töchterle, Matthias Krismer, Gert Goldenberg
  • Slag heap quantification: re-evaluating the Mitterberg smelting sites
    Erica Hanning
  • Metallographic analyses from the late Urnfield period copper mining settlement at Prigglitz-Gasteil in Lower Austria
    Roland Haubner, Susanne Strobl, Peter Trebsche
  • Copper and bronze axes from Western Austria reflecting the use of different copper types from the Early Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age
    Caroline Grutsch, Joachim Lutz, Gert Goldenberg, Gerald Hiebel
  • Composition and spatial distribution of Bronze Age planoconvex copper ingots from Salzburg, Austria:
    First results from the “Salzburger Gusskuchenprojekt”
    Joachim Lutz, Sebastian Krutter, Ernst Pernicka
  • Recording plano-convex ingots (Gusskuchen) from Late Bronze Age Styria and Upper Austria – A short manual for the documentation of morphological and technological features from production and partition
    Daniel Modl
  • The metal analyses of the SSN-project (with catalogue)
    Stephan Möslein, Ernst Pernicka
  • Peer-reviewers of this volume



January 1, 2019


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