Thomas Stöllner/Gerd Weisgerber (u. a.):
The Lead/Silver Mines of Nakhlak and their Importance in Times Gone By
The Recent Find of a Mine Cage in the Alter Mann Mine
The recent find of a mine cage in the Nakhlak Alter Mann mine has been taken as an opportunity to discuss the famous Nakhlak mines and prehistoric mining. The significance of the old lead/silver mines of Nakhlak for mining archaeology can hardly be overestimated, but has so far not been adequately researched. The use of these lead ores for the production of silver in Central Iran can be traced back to the 4th millennium B.C.: new isotope data from the settlement of Arisman several hundred kilometres away would make this appear likely. The archaeological finds made so far indicate that production was at its height in the Sassanidic and Early Islamic periods from which the very small mine cage shown here originates. Well preserved ruins are proof of an extensive mining settlement under military protection and state control. Whether production continued into more recent times is, however, only one of the questions which remain unanswered. Only field research can provide the missing information. The observations are made on the basis of local field work carried out by the authors in 1976, 1978 and 2000.