Alpine Archaeocopper Project

The AAcP project is a joint collaboration between several Institutions aiming the re-investigations of Alpine copper mines, in order to define the mineralogical, petrological, geochemical aspects, and to develop a database of elemental and isotopic tracers for provenancing ancient copper metals and smelting slags.

The conceptual foundations of the investigations are reported in specific publications.

The esperimental techniques employed are:
Technique aim working groups tasks
Field survey and sampling collect samples from copper mines (ancient and modern) representative and appropriate to be a geochemical reference of ore mineralizations UNIPD, ARCA, NATMUS, MTSN
X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) mineral identification prior to chemical and isotopic analysis UNIPD
optical microscopy (RL-OM) petrography of the ores, minerogenetic intepretation UNIPD
electron microscopy (SEM-EDS) preliminary chemical analysis, micro-phase identification UNIPD
quadrupolar mass spectrometry (ICP-QMS) trace elements 14<Z<83, including PGE and REE UNINSUBRIA
multicollector mass spectrometry (ICP-MC-MS) copper and lead isotopes BERN
advanced statistical analysis (PCA, PLS-DA, etc.) discriminant models for each minerary district, provenancing models UNINSUBRIA

Data are available for these copper districts (all individual deposits are listed in the database):
Region Minerary district (Main deposits) status
CarniaCarnic Alps (Monte Avanza, Comeglians, Casera Pramosio)completed
Veneto Agordo (Valle Imperina, Sasso Negro, Valle del Mis, Passo di Valles) [pictures] completed
Schio (M. Trisa, M. Naro) completed
Trentino Valsugana (Calceranica, Vetriolo, V. di Sella, Cinque Valli, Pamera) [pictures] completed
Val dei Mocheni (Grua va Hardombl) [pictures] completed
Faedo (Montagił) completed
Predazzo (Bedovina)in progress
Alto Adige Valle Aurina (Predoi) [pictures] completed
Chiusa (Monte Fondoli/Pfundererberg) [pictures] completed
Val Venosta-Val Martello completed
Lombardia Val Camonica in progress
Val d'Aosta St. Marcel (Chuch-Servette), Herin, Petit Monde, V. d'Ayas in progress
Piemonte Valli di Lanzo (Chialamberto, Usseglio) completed
Val di Susa (Cruvino, Salbertrand) completed
Canavese (Colle della Borra, Piamprato)completed
Val Germanasca (Via Fiorcia)completed
Val Pellice (Ciabraressa)completed
Valsesia (Alagna)completed
Queyras (France) Saint Veran [pictures] completed
Liguria Libiola, Monte Loreto [pictures], Bonassola, Reppia, Piazza completed
Val Bormida (Murialdo) [pictures]completed
Emilia Romagna Valle del Secchia-Dragone (Boccassuolo) completed
Valle del Nure (Vigonzano) completed
Toscana Isola d'Elba partial sampling
Campiglia Marittima completed
Val di Cornia partial sampling
Ophiolites of the Tuscanian Apennine partial sampling
Colline Metallifere, Grossetano partial sampling