Alain BELMONT and Fritz MANGARTZ (dir.).
Millstone quarries : research, protection and valorisation of a European Technical Heritage. (Antiquity-21st c.)
Mühlsteinbrüche. Erforschung, Schutz und Inwertsetzung eines Kulturerbes europäischer Industrie.
Les meulières. Recherche, protection et valorisation d'un patrimoine industriel européen (Antiquité-XXIe s.)
Transactions of the symposium of Grenoble, 22-26 Septembre 2005, Mayence, RGZM, 2006, 240 p.
40 euros, (excluding port).
In September 2005 the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme of Grenoble (MSH-Alpes) welcomed a hundred delegates that gathered to debate a subject that is uppermost in scientific research : millstone quarries.
Organised by the Laboratoire de Recherche Historique Rhône-Alpes (UMR CNRS 5190) and the Forschungsbereich für Vulkanologie, Archäologie und Technikgeschichte (VAT) des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums Mainz (RGZM : Romano-German Museum of Mayence), in Germany, this symposium gave place to the publication of a volume of transactions. The 25 contributions (Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Norway and, of course, France) cover a large part of Europe. These countries were represented by archaeologists, historians, geologists, paleo-anthropologists, environmental scientists, as well as representatives of official entities related to millstone quarries.
The work is divided into three sections. The first is made up of 15 articles presenting Proto-historic, Antique and Mediaeval sites. These articles explore the questions of origin and frequency, quality of stone material, techniques of manufacture, quantity and spheres of distribution, as well as the effects of millstones on human health. These sites include, among others, Saint-Quetin-la-Poterie, Châbles, quarries in the German Eifel and the French Dauphiné - even a site on the Red Sea. The second section is made up of 5 articles treating the largely unexplored subject of subterranean quarries. This section includes sites notably from Mayen (Germany), Lugnås (Sweden) and the south of France (Vaucluse, Tarn, Aveyron).
The third section presents the subject of conservation and valorisation of millstone quarries. The unfinished example of Vic-le-Comte (Puy-de-Dôme) is contrasted with the exemplary cases in the west of France (Claix, natural reserve of Pinail) and especially Mayen (Germany) where the subterranean quarries receive 200.000 visitors a year, a huge benefit for the local economy.
Finally, this work revises the mistaken traditional view that millstone quarries were a secondary industry. This industry was in fact one of the most important in human history. The book can be ordered in your library or through the website of the RGZM : http://web.rgzm.de/512.0.html.
To consult the table of contents and an example of an article.