Early iron industry in the eastern Rhenish Slate Mountains

The Siegerland region was one of the most important Iron Age mining landscapes in Europe. Its history began in the 3rd century BC, when specialized miners and smelter workers first started to exploit and process the iron ore present in the Siegerland region. Excavations of such sites, and studies of metallurgical remains, such as furnaces, clinker or charcoal, soon showed that the people who worked here were not amateurs, but specialists from the Hesse area, which was inhabited by Celts. They produced iron in almost industrial quantities, vastly exceeding their own needs. How are we to visualize this kind of production? How much iron was produced, and who were the buyers? How did the Iron Age economic area function? These and other questions are focal areas for research. To find the answers we carry out archaeological excavations and searches, and consult archaeobotanists, soil scientists and geologists.


Research projects

Early iron in the eastern Rhenish Slate Mountains: the Siegerland

Early iron in the eastern Rhenish Slate Mountains: the Siegerland

The Siegerland is one of the important German mining landscapes which ensured the supply of iron during the modern period of industrialization.

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Iron production in the Siegerland in the Latène period: Chaîne opératoire And econometrics of process steps

Iron was extracted from the in-situ ore in the Siegerland from the Middle Ages to the 1960s. However, research in the early 20th century by the local historians...

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Completed research projects

Early metal mining in the middle Lahn valley

Early metal mining in the middle Lahn valley

The middle Lahn valley lies at the intersection of the Westerwald, Taunus, Vogelsberg and Wetterau. Rich ore-bearing hills appear here, and the project focuses on the pre-industrial exploitation and subsequent processing of these resources.

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