September 2023/ Upcoming Seminar. Guy Geltner, “The Nature of Preindustrial Mining: Environmental Perspectives and Knowledge Creation”

Next week Wednesday 13 September, Guy Geltner will present at Melbourne University as part of its HSP (History of Philosophy and Science) Seminar Series.


  • When: 12.00(Melbourne local time), 13 September 2023
  • Where: Old Arts 155, The University of Melbourne


Paulus Vanius (1495) Judicium Jovis frontispiece


Abstract: This talk will present ongoing research on metal-ore mining in “preinustrial” Europe (c. 1200-1600) mainly from a social, cultural and environmental-health perspective. It examines how, following the so-called medieval mining boom of the later 12th century, new technologies and labor- and environmental hazards emerged, which communities across Europe had to contend with. In doing so they drew on, created and disseminated knowledge about Nature (or Creation) that was both innovative and conservative. Historians of science tended to attribute these forms of knowledge to Humanism and the Scientific Revolution, yet its roots and practice appear to be centuries earlier. The key to unlocking these developments, however, lies in being able to work across historical and archaeological methods, which is not always an easy path, due to the growing gap in these fields’ epistemologies.


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