Archaeo-environmental characterization of the Arvernian gold mines of Auvergne (France)

Abstract : During the Iron Age, the Gaulish Arverni and Lemovices influence extended well beyond Auvergne (Central France), into the Mediterranean regions owing to extensive agricultural activities and silver mining. Recent discoveries showed that gold mining in the area of Haute-Combraille (Auvergne) may also has contributed to the wealth of these communities. Gold was possibly extracted as well during the first two centuries AD at the onset of Roman occupation. Our project (MINEDOR) aims to study from an interdisciplinary and diachronic point of view these ancient gold mines, traditionally attributed to the Gaulish period, discovered in large numbers at the fringes of the Arverni and Lemovices territories, in the area of Upper Combraille (Puy-de-Dôme). Our goals are 1) to accurately identify the mines through fieldwalking and aerial surveys, analysis of vertical aerial photographic coverage and localization by dual-frequency DGPS, 2) to assess their environmental impact using palaeoenvironmental (palynology, microfossils) and geochemical (heavy metals, trace elements, stable lead isotopes) analyses in wetlands, and 3) to date transient phases of exploitation. Here we present high-resolution peat core analyses from the Haute-Combraille highlands (900-1000m) that allow to evidence gold mining operational phases since the Iron Age through vegetation cover changes and the release of lead (Pb) from mining activities. These new data highlight important features of the ancient economy of the Massif Central and the transient environmental impact of mining operation on watershed quality.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01839430
Contributor : Frédéric Trément <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, September 5, 2018 - 11:12:30 AM
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Poster Goldschmidt 2012 17Mo.p...
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Frédéric Trément, Jacqueline Argant, Élise Brémon, Helena Carvalho, Hervé Cubizolle, et al.. Archaeo-environmental characterization of the Arvernian gold mines of Auvergne (France). Goldschmidt, 2012, Montréal, Canada. Mineralogical Magazine, Conferences Abstracts, 2012, pp.2468, ⟨www.minersoc.org⟩. ⟨halshs-01839430⟩

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