By Charles Singer et al (eds)
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Extra resources for A History of Technology
Even stone hammers, slightly waisted for hafting with withies, remained long in use. There was naturally an increase in the use o f iron in Roman times. Iron tools from the Roman province o f Baetica (western Andalusia) can be dated with some approach to accuracy. T h ey include single- or double-headed picks, straight or curved (figure 6), and wedges for hammering into the rock; the ham mers might have two flat heads, or one flat head arid a point. T h ey usually weighed 5 to 10 lb and had short wooden handles (figure 7).
Mining was begun by them at Schemnitz in Czechoslovakia as early as 745, at Goslar in the Harz in 970, at Freiberg in Saxony in 1 170, and at Joachimsthal in Bohemia in 1516 . W hen the famous Spanish mine o f Guadalcanal in the province o f Seville was reopened in 1551 for the production o f silver-lead, one o f the administrators wrote to the government to ask for 200 or more Germans, skilled in mining and metallurgy. T o take an example from the other extremity o f Europe, the famous silver-mines o f Kongsberg in Norway were first opened in 1623.
M uch o f the excellence o f Roman building-stone may be attributed to scrupu lous care in selection and to preliminary weathering at the quarry, as the practical Vitruvius ^suggests . T h e Roman blocks were carefully marked at the quar ries with a number, to record origin, and in many cases with the date. In Britain much quarrying was done in Roman times. T h e most obvious source o f information is the wall, known as ‘Hadrian’s’, that extends from coast to coast from Wallsend in Northumberland toBowness in Cumberland (plate 40B).
A History of Technology by Charles Singer et al (eds)