Funding: Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum

Duration: 05/2021–03/2022

Project leader: Andrea Fischer, Daniela Festi

Project partner: Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum, Ruhr Universität Bochum


Although mountains are often seen as remote and inaccessible place, in the Alps humans have been shaping the landscape since thousands of years. The Archaeological Palynology project currently focuses on the Mitterberg region (Eastern Alps, Austria), which during the Bronze Age was an important large-scale copper production. As a matter of fact, the Mitterberg mining district has the thickest seam of copper ore of the entire Eastern Alps. Despite a long history of research many issues remained unsolved, mainly about forest management, the subsistence of the miners, and the technology used in the mining operations.

To contribute to a better understanding of the forest management, we implement on-site palynological analyses on the Troiboden processing site. The palaeo-vegetational evidence will be merged together with dendrochonological and archaeological results in order to gain a more detailed picture on the exploitation of wood in connection with copper mining at the site.