Importance of Melle’s mining for silver coin minting between the VII and the X centuries : contribution of lead isotopic analyses
F. Téreygeol, P. Horn*, A. Clairand**

Since 1995, archaeological research on Melle’s mining district allowed to clarify all the phases of silver production during the Upper Middle Age. They also led to a better definition of the mines’ exploitation period which now extends from the VIth century to the end of the Xth century. These mines are surely the most important silver ressource of the Carolingian empire and provided most of silver ore necessary to Carolingian economic system. Thus, it is straightforward to raise the issue of this precious metal. Was it used for coining since the beginning of the exploitation? Are the beginning of the ore exploitation and the passage to the silver coining in the last quarter of VIIth century linked? Was money coined in Melle since mines’ opening? Was silver exported toward other workshops? These questions show all the interest in leading a study on Merovingian and Carolingian Melle’s coining based on isotopic analyses. It brings a new vision on the history of Melle, numismatics and the economic history. Today, more than 80 coins, some samples of Melle’s ore and several lead slags were analysed. *   Institut de Minéralogie et de Pétrographie, Université de Munich, Allemagne ** CGB, Paris


Maj : 21/05/2014 (324)


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