Unveil the traces of ancient mining

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Abstract

The Archaeological Mines Park of San Silvestro is part of the Campiglia mining area. It represents its most important historical core. The Park covers a surface of around 450 hectares on the mountains Calvi, Rombolo, Poggio all’Aione and along the valleys Temperino, Lanzi and Manienti. The main characteristic of the Park is the richness of mining activity traces towards copper, lead and silver. The mining activity started during the 7th century BC with the Etruscan civilization and continued until 1979, when the last mine was closed. Many karst cavities of the Campiglia are “cave-mines’: they are the result of a natural event and the action of ancient miners, who searched metalliferous minerals. In Campiglia there are traces of hundreds of Etruscan, medieval and modern mining operations, tunnels from the 19th and 20th centuries. The aim of the Archaeological and Mining park of San Silvestro is to highlight historical landscape, the result of centuries of mining activities. Some of the buildings, originally used for productive and administrative purposes, have been restored to house exhibitions and services for visitors. The impressive ruins of the medieval village of San Silvestro and two of the modern mining tunnels, have been equipped for guided tours. The accessibility of ancient mining works is however still difficult and this represents a limit in the enhancement and protection of these sites. Speleologists, archaeologists and geologists will be involved in making a project to let everyone discover the most ancient underground mines. We have three main targets: (1) produce high quality pictures of the most interesting and impressive mining traces; (2) create 3D models useful for scientific and cultural purposes; (3) equip some of the ancient shafts with light structures to allow small groups to visit them. We will describe the morphological characteristics of one of these ancient mines, giving some advice for the production of high quality picture in this contest. We will also describe the technique used for the production of a 3D model and how to equip the mine for the visit of small groups of people.

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