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Chapter Summary

In a portrait hanging in the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology in Saxony, Germany, the sixteenth-century overseer of mines, Christoph von Schönberg, is holding a divining rod made of gilded hazel wood. In the nineteenth century, the professor of physics at Freiberg, Ferdinand Reich, examined a local mine surveyor who carried a divining rod made of iron and copper. Mining culture grew "hand in hand" with economic development in Saxony, according to the folklorist of central European mining, Gerhardt Heilfurth. Women were involved in surface-level, family oriented mining in Saxony until around the 1580s. The spread of the brotherhood and its male honor code paralleled other city-based trades from brewing to tanning, in which the guild structure excluded women on the pretext of skill and honor. This chapter presents an overview of how other chapters of the book are organised.

Keywords: brotherhood; central European mining; divining rod; Saxony



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