Roman mining

The study of Roman mining activities has long been one of the DBM’s research topics. Most recently we have intensified our research on azurite mining in Wallerfangen. The Romans used an elaborate technique to produce a blue pigment from the copper ore to decorate the walls of their villas.
Our new research activities in Kosovo concentrate on the mining remains near the ancient town of Ulpiana. This region, part of the Roman province of Moesia Superior in ancient times, is a mining district from the Roman Empire which has hardly been characterized by mining archaeologists so far. Our research has enabled us to prove that this was one of the biggest silver ore districts in the Roman Empire. The aim is to survey and examine this mining district as thoroughly as possible.


Research projects

Roman azurite mining in Wallerfangen

Roman azurite mining in Wallerfangen

One of the DBM’s “special projects” is the investigation of Roman azurite mining in Wallerfangen in western Saarland. There was a Roman mining district here in the first centuries AD. The miners extracted the blue copper mineral azurite, mainly to make pigment for blue wall paint or Egyptian blue. ...

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Roman mining in Kosovo

Roman mining in Kosovo

To the south of the capital of Kosovo, Priština, lies the Roman/Late Antiquity city of Ulpiana – a key location in the Roman province of Moesia Superior. Since 2008, the Kosovo Archaeological Institute (Instituti Arkeologjik i Kosovës), the Kosovo Museum (Museu i Kosovës) and the Roman-Germanic Commission in Frankfurt (RGK) have been studying the ancient city of Ulpiana in a joint project. ...

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Completed research projectse

Roman lead-silver mining on the Lüderich

Roman lead-silver mining on the Lüderich

Roman troops exploited various raw materials on the other side of the Limes – such as lead ores from the Lüderich mountain near Overath in the Bergisches Land. The mine is about 15 km east of the Rhine as the crow flies, so about one day’s march. Roman miners extracted lead ore here in the Augustan-Tiberian period (in the 1st/2nd decade AD). ...

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