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Mines d'argent du Montaigu (Hautes-Pyrénées, France)

Abstract : During a new thematic investigation three mining and metallurgical sites for silver from Iron Age have been discovered in the Montaigu massif (Hautes-Pyrénées): the Palouma mine on the southwestern mountain side and the Séras mine with the nearby metallurgic site of Hourcade on the north-eastern mountain side. A tracing study has been carried out in order to test the relationship: i) between the above cited sites and ii) between the silver produced in these sites and the contemporaneous Aquitain coinage. The lead isotopic tracing method has been used. The 12 samples, composed of ore, slag and coins fragments, have been analysed by ICP-MS with a protocol adapted to our prospective approach. Results evidence isotopic signatures drastically different from those of the Pyrenean ores already known. Isotopic compositions of ores from the Montaigu massif are not very homogeneous, even within the same deposit (Palouma) but they are close to slag values corroborating the hypothesis of Séras and Palouma ore processing at the Hourcade metallurgic site. Finally, one of the coins isotopic composition is compatible with the studied ores, while the second coin value indicates different sources are to be involved. This study highlights that lead isotopes tracing is appropriate for search of ancient metal networks at the local scale and the need of a precise archaeological, historical and geological context to frame this method.
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Submitted on : Saturday, March 12, 2022 - 10:58:16 AM
Last modification on : Monday, July 4, 2022 - 9:10:43 AM


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Jérôme Girard, Marguerite Munoz, Béatrice Cauuet, Mireille Polve, Sébastien Aries, et al.. Mines d'argent du Montaigu (Hautes-Pyrénées, France). Archeosciences, revue d'Archéométrie, G.M.P.C.A./Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2010, pp.235-242. ⟨10.4000/archeosciences.2792⟩. ⟨hal-03606736⟩



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