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Extraction

(933 words)

Author(s): Bartels, Christoph
In mining a distinction is made in the context of mining technology between extraction as the separation of minerals from the rock, site preparation with shafts, galleries, and drifts, preparation for extraction, water management and ventilation as auxiliary technologies, and delivery.In the early modern period, efforts were made to combine all mining operations with extraction. Therefore shafts, galleries, and drifts were cut within the mineral deposit if at all possible. But extraction within that deposit weakened the cohes…
Date: 2019-10-14

Assaying

(727 words)

Author(s): Bartels, Christoph
Assaying (or docimasy, from Greek  dokimasía, “examination”) is “the use of empirically developed analytic knowledge in the field of metallurgy, casting, and coinage, but also in alchemical and early chemical laboratories, since quantitative testing procedures were needed for the production and testing of salts, mineral acids, alcohols, etc.” (Alchemy) [8. 173]. In use since the Middle Ages, it developed into an independent discipline with its own literature in the 16th century; the first small book on assaying with formulas and instructio…
Date: 2019-10-14

Blasting

(940 words)

Author(s): Bartels, Christoph
1. Introduction Blasting is using explosives (black powder or gunpowder; other substances only came into use after the early modern period) in mining. Technically, blasting imitates an accident occurring in the military use of black powder, where the squib jams in the barrel of the cannon or gun, which is then often blown apart by the exploding powder charge [4. 55].When rocks and minerals needed to be loosened, holes were bored in the mass. If the borehole was dry, a certain amount of loose powder would be poured into it; if the hole was wet, the powde…
Date: 2019-10-14

Markscheidewesen

(998 words)

Author(s): Bartels, Christoph | Steffens, Gero
1. GeneralIn the Middle Ages, the term  Markscheidewesen – from Mark (obsolete: “territory, terrain”), Scheide (“boundary”), and Wesen (“entity”) – referred originally only to surveying in the context of mining. At the beginning of the early modern period it came to denote all the surveys and documentation required in mining; the Markscheider is the engineer responsible for all surveys, computations, and representations (plans, graphics) [5]. Measurements in conjunction with structures above and below ground were always a demanding job; carrying them …
Date: 2019-10-14

Copper

(3,283 words)

Author(s): Häberlein, Mark | Bartels, Christoph | Fried, Torsten
1. Introduction The resurgence of the European population after the plague epidemics of the 14th and 15th centuries, which also brought about a revival of long-distance trade (see Trade, long-distance), led to rising demand for copper, the softness, durability, and malleability of which made it suitable for many different applications (see below, 3.). European expansionism overseas made copper and brass goods important commodities in the Portuguese Africa and Asia trades from the 16th century (World economy) [3. 335, 337, 347 f.]. The development of new refining metho…
Date: 2019-10-14