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New Insights into Historical Mining Activities in Tarnowskie Góry, Poland

A recent study has provided fresh details on the historical mining activities in Tarnowskie Góry, Poland, dating back to as early as the 10th century. Researchers used a combination of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS), Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL), and dendrochronology to determine the age of mining shaft remains in the post-exploitation field of this region known for its lead ore and silver extraction from the 12th to the 20th centuries.

The AMS method yielded 12 results, with the majority of the dates ranging from 1435 to 1645 cal AD, aligning with the most intense mining period in the 16th century. However, two results pointed to significantly older periods, suggesting earlier mining activities potentially dating back to the beginnings of the Polish State. Dendrochronological analysis of construction wood found in the mines corroborated these radiocarbon dates.

OSL dating, on the other hand, provided much older dates ranging from 2.5 ka BP to 216 ka BP. These results were considered overestimated due to probable issues with the luminescence signal not being reset during sediment redeposition. Despite this, the quality of the luminescence signal was reported as satisfactory.

References:

Pawełczyk, F., Bolik, A., Błachut, B., Kamińska, A., Opała-Owczarek, M., Malik, I., Wojcik, M., Zakrzewska, Z., Pawlak, Z., Poręba, G., 2023. Development of Chronology for Historical Mining Shaft Remains in the Vicinity of Tarnowskie Góry Based on Radiocarbon, Luminescence and Dendrochronological Dating. Geochronometria (50). https://doi.org/10.2478/geochr-2023-0004