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Virtual Tour
First room PDF Print E-mail

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The largest parts of Mercury deposits in the Southern Tuscany, is concentrated around the volcanic complex of Monte Amiata. It relates to antiquity deposits, which represented a primary importance of mining resources supplying together with Almaden (Spain) well over 50% of Mercury absorbed worldwide.

The starting point of the Museum tour is a walled panel model showing the locations of mines in our territory, as well as geographical charts where Cinnibar are formed.

This section also contains a series of exhibits, Slegde Hammers, Picks, Axes and Mattock Hoes, found in excavations, some dating back to the third millennium BC, together with illustrations of the use of Cinnabar by the Etruscans, to colour Terracotta, paint in fresco their tombs and Oriental trade.

 
Second room PDF Print E-mail

stanza2aA split section of the antique technology of research and cultivation, in various historical periods, is what you can find visiting the second room of the Museum. From a precise comparison of the various historical periods, you will see a clear improvement with the use of Iron tools, but most of all, the use of gun-powder.

 
Third room PDF Print E-mail

stanza3astanza3b The mines on Monte Amiata were considered as "Stale Bread" for well over a long period it satiated a hard, difficult and poor land. On exhibition here, are tools and instruments, which help the visitor to comprehend, in a clear way, the general type of organised work and industrial activity carried out underground. Principal characters seen and frequently used, all too often in this industry, were women, and children under the age of fifteen. Their task, in particular, was to separate and wash the mineral, before sending it on to the furnaces (an operation carried out in the "wash-houses"): depending on their work role, a daily recompense (12 hours) was, for the above role, only 0.60 lira.

 
Fourth room PDF Print E-mail

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Rising to the first floor, it's possible to see the use and employment of Mercury in time, but above all, illustrations of the serious consequences that the working and extraction of Cinnibar, had brought about in the health and life of the miners.

Landslides, Mine explosions, gas (so called "Dead Air"), rock falls, these and many others were the cause of numerous work injuries, often deadly, took place in the Amiatine Mines. Not to forget either, the professional illnesses, like silicosis and Mercurial poisoning that has been the cause of death to a vast number of ex-miners.

 
Fifth room PDF Print E-mail

stanza5abbiamo_vintoWe conclude our tour confronting topics relating to the closure and social struggles of mines and miners, brought about with their hard determination to obtain firstly better working conditions, and mostly the advancement of an alternate vision of development based on the valuation of human resources, environment and culture. Common to all miners, mining signified sacrifices and danger, but most of all, it represented a privilege in their poor but small world, guaranteeing, albeit miserable, a monthly pay packet, which consented a humble measure of future projected plans. The Mercury crisis which started in 1973, brought about the gradual closures of mines between 1982 and 1984, miners were laid-off, some were pensioned off and some were awaiting to be re-qualified and inserted into new activities that offered better working conditions, but most of all, to advance an alternate vision of development based on the valuation of Human resources, environment and productivity.

 
Multimedia laboratory PDF Print E-mail

stanza6aThis room is equipped with modern and up to date instruments to digitally catalogue texts and videos.

 
Gallery PDF Print E-mail

In addition to what has already been mentioned, another realistic idea of the environment and working conditions in mines comes from a true to life construction of a section of an underground gallery, built by ex-miners.

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