Monks, bishop and countrymen : iron production at La Chaume (Côte-d’Or, France) between the XIIth and the XIVth century
The richness of archaeological and historical sources about the village of La Chaume – Burgundy, France – enables to write the history of one of the most important iron Cistercian field. Nevertheless Saint-Bernard monks' were not alone to dig this karstic iron ore deposit. They had to take into account the bishop of Langres and also La Chaume’s villagers. Archaeological survey show a mining district not only limited to La Chaume wood but also in forests surrounding it. Vestiges are shafts and opencast mines, more than one thousand are located. On the other hand, iron sites are concentrated in the village. Historical sources draw an impressive picture of this village. There are more than two thousand persons living there. An important part of them worked as miners and blacksmiths. Today, it is possible to see remains of iron production (hydraulic system, slag heaps, etc.). The comparison between archaeological and historical sources help us to date mining and forge sites. It is possible to draw the bishop and Cistercian’s policies from the beginning until the end of mining and the introduction of blast furnace technology.