Skip to main content

Celtic Gold Mines in West Central Gaul

  • Chapter

Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSE,volume 280)

Abstract

Archaeological researches recently carried out on ancient gold mines in the Limousin (west central Gaul) have revealed an intense extractive industry. The Lemovici people developed opencast mining following outcropping veins (hydrothermal veins with native gold and gold associated with sulphides) in their territory throughout the second (La Tène) Iron Age. Mining activity started in the 4th century B.C. At that time, extraction was by small open-pits followed by underhand stoping. Abundant traces of nearby dwellings have been found in the backfill, as well as stone-tools used in working the ore. In contrast, in late La Tene (from 2nd to early 1st century B.C.), the mines were in the form of large open casts of a length of about 250 m, a width of 80 m, and a depth of 30 to 40 m. From these opencasts exploratory galleries and crosscuts were driven along cross-cutting veins. Crosscuts were also driven for drainage. From a depth of about 20 m, mining went on underground in stopes driven up to 10 m depth and fully propped (with the complete timbering still existing in its original position).

At the site of these long excavations, ore treatment areas have been located. They include roasting hearths, ore, fragments of millstones, crushing-tables, crushers and touchstones. At the middle La Tène site of Cros Gallet-Nord, ore washing areas and crucibles have been also found. Near these areas were discovered the foundations of earthern and timber structures of middle and late La Tène date.

Keywords

  • Mining Activity
  • Mining Site
  • Underground Work
  • Opencast Mining
  • Wooden Construction

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-94-015-1292-3_15
  • Chapter length: 22 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   509.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-94-015-1292-3
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   639.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   639.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  • Boudet, R. (1987): L’Age du Fer récent dans la partie méridionale de l’estuaire girondin.- In: Vesuna (ed.): Périgueux.- 300p., 222 Figs.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cauuet, B. (1988): La mine antique des Fouilloux (Jumilhac, Dordogne): les premiers résultats de la fouille.- Aquitania 6: 181–190.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cauuet, B. (1989): Aurieres du Limousin: état de la recherche dans le district minier de Saint Yrieix-la-Perche (Haute-Vienne).- Mines et métallurgies antiques et medievales de la France méridionale, recherches recentes.- Journées de Perpignan (20–22 Feb. 1987), Perpignan (Ville de Perpignan): 53–72.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cauuet, B. (1991): L’exploitation de l’or en Limousin, des Gaulois aux Gallo-Romains.- Annales du Midi, 103, no. 194: 149–181.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cauuet, B. (1992): Aurières en Limousin.- Travaux d’Archéologie Limousine, Limoges, 12: 7–22.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cauuet, B., Didierjean, F. (1992): Mines d’or gauloises et habitats associés du sud-Limousin: methodes de prospection archéologique.- Aquitania, Bordeaux 10.

    Google Scholar 

  • Domergue, C. (1970): Introduction a l’étude des mines d’or du Nord-Ouest de la Péninsule Ibérique dans l’antiquité.- In: EXCMA. Diputacion Provincial (ed.): Legio VII Gemina-Leon: 253286.

    Google Scholar 

  • Domergue, C. (1978): Mines d’or romaines d’Espagne, le district de la Valduema (Leon).- In: Université Toulouse-Le Mirail (ed.), Toulouse, 305p.

    Google Scholar 

  • Domergue, C. (1987): Catalogue des mines et des fonderies antiques de la Péninsule Ibérique.- In: Diffusion de Boccard (ed.), Madrid, 597p.

    Google Scholar 

  • Domergue, C. (1990): Les mines de la Péninsule Ibérique dans l’Antiquité Romaine.- In: Diffusion de Boccard (ed.): Collection de l’Ecole Française de Rome, Roma, 127: 625p.

    Google Scholar 

  • Laporte, A. (1965): L’archéologie et l’histoire au service de la recherche minière. Un exemple d’application: les gisements aurifères du Limousin et de la Marche.- Bulletin du B.R.G.M, 4: 45–78

    Google Scholar 

  • Laporte, A. (1965): L’archéologie et l’histoire au service de la recherche minière. Un exemple d’application: les gisements aurifères du Limousin et de la Marche.- Bulletin du B.R.G.M, 2: 23–111

    Google Scholar 

  • Laporte, A. (1965): L’archéologie et l’histoire au service de la recherche minière. Un exemple d’application: les gisements aurifères du Limousin et de la Marche.- Bulletin du B.R.G.M, 3: 45–162

    Google Scholar 

  • Laporte, A. (1965): L’archéologie et l’histoire au service de la recherche minière. Un exemple d’application: les gisements aurifères du Limousin et de la Marche.- Bulletin du B.R.G.M, 4: 69–149.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mallard, E. (1866): Note sur les gisements stannifères du Limousin et de la Marche et sur quelques anciennes fouilles qui paraissent s’y rattacher.- Annales des Mines, 6, 10: 321–352.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sagui, C. (1940): Les mines anciennes du Limousin (région de Saint Yrieix).- Bulletin de la Société Archéologique et Historique du Limousin, 78: 250–277.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sevensma, P.H. (1941): Les gisements d’or de la region de Saint-Yrieix (Haute-Vienne, France).- Genève (Georg and Cie S.A. (ed.): Librairie de l’Université), 111p.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 1995 Kluwer Academic Publishers

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Cauuet, B. (1995). Celtic Gold Mines in West Central Gaul. In: Morteani, G., Northover, J.P. (eds) Prehistoric Gold in Europe. NATO ASI Series, vol 280. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-015-1292-3_15

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-015-1292-3_15

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht

  • Print ISBN: 978-90-481-4500-3

  • Online ISBN: 978-94-015-1292-3

  • eBook Packages: Springer Book Archive