Les mines d’or ptolémaïques. Résultats des prospections dans le district minier de Samut (désert Oriental)

Abstract : Abundant in the Eastern Desert, gold is mined as soon as the early days of the Egyptian kingdom. But in the Ptolemaic Period the State initiates for the first time a systematic and intensive exploitation of the Egyptian gold-bearing veins, to consolidate its power and pursue an ambitious foreign policy. However, if the constant use of gold in Egyptian art has produced a numerous ancient and modern literature, the history of its extraction, production and circulation is less known. In order to study the golden age of the Eastern Desert gold mining, the French mission began its work by exploring the mining district of Samut, located south of the road leading from Edfu to Marsa Allam. This article presents the results of the first mission, carried out in January 2013. The survey has yielded important results: it showed that the area of Samut was organized as a real mine district, coherent and ordered, centred on a large vein in the mountains (North Samut) and a fort in the plain (Bi’r Samut). All technical steps of ore extraction and treatment, until its transformation into gold, have also been located in the area. Ceramics collected on the surface showed, finally, that the vein was used from the beginning of the Ptolemaic Period (late fourth century BC).
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Jean-Pierre Brun, J.-P. Deroin, Thomas Faucher, Redon Bérangère, Florian Tereygeol. Les mines d’or ptolémaïques. Résultats des prospections dans le district minier de Samut (désert Oriental). Bulletin de l'Institut français d'archéologie orientale, Institut français d'archéologie orientale, 2013, 113, pp.111-141. ⟨halshs-01531182⟩

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