• Translation

Article ID DB0347




Representation of different equipment to earn and cultivate gold, silver and amalgam


ca. 1880



Historical Description

The oldest form of raw material extraction known as mining dates back to the occasional use of flint deposits in the Stone Age. Small work parties went to flint mines for a few days to obtain raw material for the manufacture of tools. In Stone Age cultures (North America, New Guinea), this method of working has persisted in part to the present day. A permanent or seasonal mining operation requires agriculture with surpluses and trade, since the miners must be fed without being able to produce food themselves and produce more products themselves than the community can utilize. The conditions for this were generally not present until the Copper Age. The great need of the advanced civilizations of the Near East for metals was also met early on from European mines. The best researched copper mining area in Europe is that of Mitterberg in the Salzburger Land. The heyday of medieval mining in Central Europe was the 13th century. It declined in the 14th century, mainly because no new deposits were discovered. From the middle of the 15th century, a new upswing set in. In the European Middle Ages, silver, copper, iron, lead and tin ores were mainly mined. Salt mining was also important. The monasteries also played a rather important role as mining lords. In many cases, German miners transferred their expertise to more distant regions, such as France (for example Alsace, Vosges), Hungary, Italy (for example copper ore in Tuscany) and Sweden. The process also partly took place within the framework of eastern colonization. German mining entrepreneurs were involved in Swedish mines. Important mining areas in the Habsburg Monarchy were in Carinthia, Styria, the Salzkammergut and in Tyrol as far as Trento. The Schwaz silver treasure became a decisive factor in financing the Habsburg plans for world empire.

Place of Publication Leipzig
Dimensions (cm)21 x 25
ConditionVery good
TechniqueWood engraving


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