Laurion. Montan- und siedlungsarchäologische Studien zum antiken Blei-Silberbergbau: Raw Materials, Innovation, Technology of Ancient Cultures - RITaK 7


Sophia Nomicos


According to written sources, the silver mines of Laurium were one of the main pillars of the Athenian economy in Classical times. The exceptionally well preserved archaeological record of this southern Attic mining region substantially increases this knowledge base. Numerous structures, particularly of the Classical period, reveal an ancient mining region with a highly specialised “industry” and differentiated infrastructure. This publication is divided into two parts. Part 1 offers a new discussion of the chaîne opératoire of silver extraction, using archaeological, historical and archaeometric results. It discusses in how far ancient technological approaches indicate trends towards an optimisation of processes. Part 2 examines the development of mining in Laurium from the Geometric period to late Antiquity. While relying in particular on archaeology, it also considers historical and numismatic sources and the results of archaeometric analyses. For the first time, the development of mining is discussed in relation to the region’s settlement history. This interdisciplinary and diachronic starting point allows a nuanced reconstruction of the development of mining and draws out connections between mining and settlement development in this part of Attica.



February 15, 2021


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