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Searching for mineral wealth: a preliminary investigation into the metallurgical assemblage from Cartier-Roberval

Author(s): Marcos Martinón-Torres ; Yves Monette

Year: 2014

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Summary

There is little doubt that one of the major ambitions behind the first attempt at settling in Canada was the pursuit of metals and other mineral wealth. Archaeological remains of the metallurgical trials carried out in Quebec may hold important clues to understand skill-sets, expectations, and perhaps failures of those early explorers seeking to exploit the riches of an unknown territory. We present study and technical interpretation of a small number of crucibles and metallurgical residues recovered at the site of Cartier-Roberval. We focused on the manufacture, material properties and possible origins of the crucibles and on the traces of the experiments left on them. The results indicate that the colonists brought high quality French crucibles and used them to perform a variety of tests. However, their residues suggest that the ores were poor and the yields low - which may help explain the eventual failure of this initial settlement attempt.


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Searching for mineral wealth: a preliminary investigation into the metallurgical assemblage from Cartier-Roberval. Marcos Martinón-Torres, Yves Monette. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436643)


Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-8,07

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America