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The bridge of Dieulouard (Meurthe-et-Moselle, France): a fresh perspective on metal supply strategies in Carolingian economy

Le pont de Dieulouard (Meurthe-et-Moselle) : un éclairage nouveau sur les stratégies d’acquisition du métal dans l’économie carolingienne
Alexandre Disser, Philippe Dillmann, Marc Leroy, Paul Merluzzo and Stéphanie Leroy
p. 149-161

Abstracts

A rescue excavation has unearthed the remains of a bridge crossing the Moselle River at Dieulouard (Meurthe-et-Moselle, France). This constitutes one of the rare examples of non-religious monumental architecture from the Carolingian period in France. The present archaeometrical study, conducted on a set of architectural iron fastenings, provides an opportunity to examine the modalities through which early medieval building yards acquired ferrous materials. Located within the vicinity of active ironmaking zones, a hypothesis was subsequently put forward that the iron supply was provided by a local market. The results nevertheless highlight a more complex acquisition strategy than expected, relying at least partially on metal salvaging. This study therefore stimulates current discussions of the importance of recycling in the Carolingian economy, and of the value attributed to material and its transformation.

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Excerpt

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Outline

1. Introduction
2. Sample set and experimental methodology
3. Results
Metallographic examinations
Chemical characterization of non-metallic slag inclusions
Dating of two clamps
4. Discussion

First lines

1. Introduction

Archaeological and historical research over the last three decades has increased our understanding of iron production and consumption in the early Middle Ages. Excavations of settlements and burials provide substantial documentation about iron consumption modalities related to distinct activities: agriculture, weaponry, craftsmanship, domestic ware… In comparison, the use of metal in early medieval architecture, and particularly during the Carolingian epoch, has been characterized far less, despite its fundamental importance. Indeed, sites that may provide necessary material are scarce. Although the use of iron is evidenced during Carolingian times, as in the palatial complex of Aachen (Davis & McCormick, 2008, p. 284), metallic reinforcements are often inaccessible. Documentary sources, such as account books, that provide important information about medieval buildi...

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References

Bibliographical reference

Alexandre Disser, Philippe Dillmann, Marc Leroy, Paul Merluzzo and Stéphanie Leroy, « The bridge of Dieulouard (Meurthe-et-Moselle, France): a fresh perspective on metal supply strategies in Carolingian economy », ArcheoSciences, 40 | 2016, 149-161.

Electronic reference

Alexandre Disser, Philippe Dillmann, Marc Leroy, Paul Merluzzo and Stéphanie Leroy, « The bridge of Dieulouard (Meurthe-et-Moselle, France): a fresh perspective on metal supply strategies in Carolingian economy », ArcheoSciences [Online], 40 | 2016, Online since 30 December 2018, connection on 25 March 2017. URL : http://archeosciences.revues.org/4830 ; DOI : 10.4000/archeosciences.4830

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About the authors

Alexandre Disser

Corresponding author – LAPA-IRAMAT, NIMBE, CEA, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay, CEA Saclay 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette France. (alexandre.disser@cea.fr)

Philippe Dillmann

LAPA-IRAMAT, NIMBE, CEA, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay, CEA Saclay 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette France. (philippe.dillmann@cea.fr)

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Marc Leroy

LMC, IRAMAT, UMR5060, CNRS and LAM, Nancy, France. (marc.leroy.lmc@orange.fr)

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Paul Merluzzo

LMC, IRAMAT, UMR5060, CNRS and LAM, Nancy, France. (pmerluzzo@yahoo.fr)

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Stéphanie Leroy

LAPA-IRAMAT, NIMBE, CEA, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay, CEA Saclay 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette France. (stephanie.leroy@cea.fr)

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Copyright

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