Ongoing projects

DURATION: 2018-2021

Mines, miners and variscite

Archaeological interventions in the Ferreres sector of the Prehistoric mines of Gavà

LITOcat project

The main objective of the project is to resume archaeological research in the Ferreres sector of the Neolithic variscite mines of Gavà (Barcelona, Spain). The discovery and excavation (partially) of a series of variscite mines in the Ferreres sector during the years 2000-2002 was a strong impulse in the knowledge of the prehistoric mining activity in Gavà. The works, however, were also a challenge as they raised new questions that have not responded until now such as:

  • How intense and for how long the mining activity was given in the Ferreres sector?
  • Had the Ferreres sector, given the presence of burials in abandoned mines, a widespread use as necropolis?
  • Who worked in the mines and what part of the mining community had access to the variscite exploited?
  • Variscite used to produce the variscite ornaments (beads and pendants) found in the Ferreres sector, was extracted from the same sector?

In order to answer these and other questions, the project aims to:

  • Carry out new fieldwork in the Ferreres sector with the aim of locating the original accesses and excavating some of the mines that were located, but not excavated, in the years 2000-2002.
  • Resume and deepen most studies of the archaeological materials recovered in the Ferreres during the years 2000-2002.

Funding entitiesFunding entities

  • Departament de Cultura. Generalitat de Catalunya (CLT009/18/00044)
  • Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades (RYC-2016-21108)

References Bibliography

  • Borrell, F., Bosch, J., Gibaja, J.F., Schmidt, P., Terradas, X. 2019. The status of imported Barremian-Bedoulian fint in north-eastern Iberia during the Middle Neolithic. Insights from the variscite mines of Gavà (Barcelona). PLoS ONE 14(11): e0224238
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