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Pre-Roman Mining Activities in the El Molar-Bellmunt- Falset District (Tarragonia, Spain): Indirect Proofs Based on Lead Isotopes Analysis

AuthorsMontero Ruiz, Ignacio ; Rafel Fontanals, Nuria; Hunt Ortiz, Mark A.; Murillo-Barroso, Mercedes ; Rovira Hortalá, M. Carme; Armada, Xosé-Lois ; Graells i Fabregat, Raimon
Lead isotopes analysis
Análisis de isótopos de plomo
Iron Age
Edad del Hierro
NE Iberia
NE peninsular
Institute of Heritage Sciences
Instituto de Ciencias del Patrimonio
Cultural Heritage
Patrimonio Cultural
Issue Date2010
PublisherInnsbruck University Press
CitationEn P. Anreiter, G. Goldenberg, K. Hanke, R. Krause, W. Leitner, F. Mathis, K. Nicolussi, K. Oeggl, E. Pernicka, M. Prast, J. Schibler, I. Schneider, H. Stadler, T. Stöllner, G. Tomedi, P. Tropper (eds.): Mining in European History and its Impact on Environment and Human Societies. Proceedings for the 1st Mining in European History-Conference of the SFB-HIMAT (12.-15. November 2009, Innsbruck): 115-121. Innsbruck.
Abstract[EN] The Molar-Bellmunt-Falset (MBF) mining district was an important source of lead and silver from medieval times to the 20th century, as many historical documents show. Pre-Roman operations have not been documented in the area, but a few fragments of Roman pottery were recovered during 20th century mining. Two field surveys did not provide any evidence of ancient exploitation. However, some evidence of lead metallurgy has been documented at some prehistoric sites within the region. This study is based on lead (Pb) isotope analysis (LIA) and tries to identify the provenance of archaeological items prior to the Roman conquest of the region. Early Iron Age occupation horizons show that MBF mineral resources were exploited for their metals. We also try to investigate if archaeological material from other parts of the Iberian Peninsula could be related to the MBF district to infer the patterns of trade.
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