Copper

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The excavations delivered metallic elements which let think of a copper work on the site.

The most impressive elements are a coulure of copper sulfide, a coulure of cuprous alloy holding 35 % of lead, a cuprous nodule, a fragment of matte of 500 g (40 % Sb, 38.3 % Pb, 16.8 % Cu and 2.3 % Fe). In this last item, it could involve an intermediate product within the framework of the argentiferous copper production with lead adding. Finally, we found 3 fragments of copper sheets. Their thicknesses seem very close. In three cases, the composition excludes a use for the arts and crafts of the clothing. The composition is not included into anything known for medieval period. For the moment, we thus connect these copper sheet with one of the phases of the production of silver and copper to Castel-Minier. This idea is strengthened by the presence of a coulure which presents a similar composition.

The existence of copper metallurgy to Castel-Minier is evident. Questions will have to find answers. Is it about a production of argentiferous copper, from which silver would be the expected final product and the copper a by-product easily recovered? Is there a specific chain of production of the copper? Or still, both systems are present?

Matte fragments
Matte fragments
Copper sheets
Copper sheets