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Environmental impact of early palaeometallurgy: pollen and geochemical analysis

Abstract : Interdisciplinary research was carried out in mid-level mountain areas in France with the aim of documenting historical mining and smelting activities by means of pollen and geochemical analyses. These investigations were made on cores collected in French peatlands in the Morvan (northern Massif Central), at Mont Lozère (southern Massif Central) and in the Basque Country (Pyrénées). Different periods of mining were recognised from Prehistory to modern times through the presence of anthropogenic lead in peat. Some of these were already known from archaeological dates or historical archives, especially for mediaeval and modern periods. However prehistoric ancient mining activities, as early as the Middle Bronze Age (ca. 1700 b.c.), were also discovered. They had all led to modifications in plant cover, probably related in part to forest clearance necessary to supply energy for mining and smelting.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00332036
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Isabelle Jouffroy-Bapicot, Maria Pulido, Sandrine Baron, Didier Galop, Fabrice Monna, et al.. Environmental impact of early palaeometallurgy: pollen and geochemical analysis. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, Springer Verlag, 2007, 16 (4), pp.251-258. ⟨hal-00332036⟩

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