Institute Europa Subterranea


Bad Münster am Stein-Ebernburg

30th of May - 2nd of June 2019

Mining Designed

The Influence of Historical Mining

Mining has always had a strong impact on the immediate surrounding and environment as well as the social milieu. In some cases, this influence still has an effect today. The installations and relics of the mining industry designs and shape the landscape, e.g. Pingen, dumps, opencast mines, watercourses and transport routes and can still be recognised in some cases centuries and millennia after the abandonment of mining. Mining areas and associated housing estates are hidden in the landscape as deserted areas or were the germ cells of today's settlements. Pollutants released by mining, such as mercury in the historic mining area of the Palatinate, still have an impact on the environment today and influence plants and nature, such as the thriving of special plants on heavy metal dumps. The culture and the peculiarities of the miners shape the people of the mining regions and their customs. Through the migration of miners and the exchange of specialist knowledge, regional customs and methods were transferred throughout Europe to other regions, e.g. between the Palatinate and the Vosges. With the proceeds from mining, representative buildings could be erected in the residences of the sovereigns or in the trading towns and the local churches could be equipped with arts and crafts, such as the Barbara frescoes in Niederhausen/Nahe. Castles and fortifications were built to protect and control the deposits.

This year's symposium will explore the influence of historical mining and its archaeological traces in the landscape.