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White Gold On Spitzberg Hill

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is a tale of salt. Expeditions were organized, workers were hired, and reports were penned of the tedious work of discovering and analyzing the mineral content of subterranean brine. Prior to mass production in the nineteenth-century, salt was one of the most important items on the planet. There were three major uses for this mineral: as a spice, as a preservative, and as medicine. The expedition began by setting out with Fischer to the edge of Spitzberg Hill, where we quickly learn that the peasant did not possess the same credibility as more formally employed and trusted dowsers from Freiberg. The mine surveying witnessed in this chapter was certainly not the science that Lempe meant, but a more craft -oriented practice in which mining officials worked closely with dowsers and diggers in the field, and entertained the knowledge of peasants like Fischer.

Keywords: mine surveying; spitzberg hill



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