TECHNIKA DOBÝVANIA A POČIATKY ŤAŽBY ZLATA A STRIEBRA V DOLINE ŠTIAVNIČKY V NÍZKYCH TATRÁCH
Techniques of extraction and the beginnings of production of gold and silver in the Štiavnička valley in Low Tatras
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The study presents the techniques used in the surface and underground extraction of gold in the middle ages and reconstructs the history of precious metal production in the Štiavnička valley in Low Tatras in the historical territory of Brezno up to the end of the 16th century. The first part of the work deals with the history of panning for gold in the Štiavnička valley. On the basis of archive and field research, we succeeded in identifying and reconstructing the gold producing areas, which had an area of more than 100 ha. We analysed the form of the production area. We describe the technical procedures for obtaining the gold-bearing material and the subsequent extraction of the gold. It was precisely the alluvial gold obtained from the Štiavnička valley that made Brezno one of the prospering mining towns of the Kingdom of Hungary in the 14th and 15th centuries. In the second part of the article we analyse the beginnings of underground mining of gold and silver ores in the mines of the Štiavnička valley in the 16th century. On the basis of archive and field research, as well as using published expert works we analysed the techniques for extracting, transporting and processing the precious metal ores in the Štiavnička valley. We also mention specific examples of remains in the present landscape. In connection with the techniques for extracting ore in the late Middle Ages and on the basis of archive documents we worked out the history of extraction of gold and other precious metals in the Štiavnčka valley up to the end of the 16th century. We can regard the period up to the end of the 16th century as the golden age of gold or precious metal mining in the Brezno area. In the 17th and especially in the 18th century, extraction of iron ore came into the foreground in this area.
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