Next Article in Journal
Sr, S, and O Isotope Compositions of Evaporites in the Lanping–Simao Basin, China
Next Article in Special Issue
Lead Isotope Analysis of Geological Native Copper: Implications for Archaeological Provenance Research in the North American Arctic and Subarctic
Previous Article in Journal
Acknowledgment to Reviewers of Minerals in 2020
Previous Article in Special Issue
Deciphering the Iron Provenance on a Medieval Building Yard: The Case of Bourges Cathedral
Article

Medieval Pb (Cu-Ag) Smelting in the Colline Metallifere District (Tuscany, Italy): Slag Heterogeneity as a Tracer of Ore Provenance and Technological Process

1
Centro di Microscopia Elettronica e Microanalisi, Università di Firenze, Via. G. Capponi 3r, 50121 Florence, Italy
2
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Firenze, Via G. La Pira 4, 50121 Firenze, Italy
3
Dipartimento di Scienze Storiche e dei Beni Culturali, Università di Siena, Via Roma 56, 53100 Siena, Italy
4
Dipartimento di Biotecnologie, Chimica e Farmacia, Università di Siena, Via A. Moro 2, 53100 Siena, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2021, 11(2), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11020097
Received: 15 December 2020 / Revised: 12 January 2021 / Accepted: 14 January 2021 / Published: 20 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogy, Trace Elements and Isotopic Tracers in Archaeometallurgy)
Archaeological investigations of the Colline Metallifere district (Southern Tuscany, Italy) have highlighted several Medieval sites located close to the main Cu-Pb-Fe (Ag) ore occurrences. This study is focused on the investigation of late-medieval slags from Cugnano and Montieri sites using both geochemical and mineralogical methods to understand slag heterogeneities as result of ore differences and technological processes. Matte-rich slags present in both sites (with abundant matte ± speiss and frequent relict phases) represent waste products related to primary sulphide ore smelting to obtain a raw lead bullion. The distribution of slags between the Ca-rich or Fe-rich dominant composition, and the consequent mineralogy, are tracers of the different ore–gangue association that occurred in the two sites. Silver is present only in very small matte-rich slags and ores enclosed within the mortar of the Montieri site; wastes derived from silver-rich mineral charges were probably crushed for the recovery of silver. Matte-poor slags found at Montieri represent a second smelting; raw lead bullion obtained from matte slags (both Fe- and Ca-rich) was probably re-smelted, adding silica and Al2O3-phase-rich fluxes, under more oxidizing conditions to reduce metal impurities. This second step was probably employed for Zn-rich lead ores; this process helped to segregate zinc within slags and improve the quality of the metal. View Full-Text
Keywords: slags; archaeometry; archaeology; medieval; lead; zinc; silver; smelting; Tuscany slags; archaeometry; archaeology; medieval; lead; zinc; silver; smelting; Tuscany
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Chiarantini, L.; Benvenuti, M.; Bianchi, G.; Dallai, L.; Volpi, V.; Manca, R. Medieval Pb (Cu-Ag) Smelting in the Colline Metallifere District (Tuscany, Italy): Slag Heterogeneity as a Tracer of Ore Provenance and Technological Process. Minerals 2021, 11, 97. https://doi.org/10.3390/min11020097

AMA Style

Chiarantini L, Benvenuti M, Bianchi G, Dallai L, Volpi V, Manca R. Medieval Pb (Cu-Ag) Smelting in the Colline Metallifere District (Tuscany, Italy): Slag Heterogeneity as a Tracer of Ore Provenance and Technological Process. Minerals. 2021; 11(2):97. https://doi.org/10.3390/min11020097

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chiarantini, Laura, Marco Benvenuti, Giovanna Bianchi, Luisa Dallai, Vanessa Volpi, and Rosarosa Manca. 2021. "Medieval Pb (Cu-Ag) Smelting in the Colline Metallifere District (Tuscany, Italy): Slag Heterogeneity as a Tracer of Ore Provenance and Technological Process" Minerals 11, no. 2: 97. https://doi.org/10.3390/min11020097

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop