Emmanuelle Meunier

Structural Materials
Post-doc researcher
1.17 11612


- Main scientific interests

I am an archaeologist specialized in the study of mining and primary metallurgy during the Protohistory and the Roman period. I focus on the chronological and technical characterisation of the mining activity, in order to understand the primary production of metals and define the chaîne opératoire used in those ancient periods. The evolution of these techniques (continuity or changes) across the time is a way to approximate the socio-economic background necessary to implement such activities. 

I first applied this investigation in the frame of my PhD thesis, focused on the Arize Mountains Cu-Ag mining district (Ariège, SW France). I could evidence a systematic mining of these local ores since the 4th – 3rd c. BC, two centuries earlier than it was supposed previously. This first phase of mining can be inserted in a regional frame of exploration of the mineral resources, probably related with the general economic development of this period. In this way, the contemporaneous development in continental Europe of settlements with high production of manufactured goods, dedicated to regional or long distance trade, points to the same economic growth. The characterization of the later phase of activity, between the end of the 2nd c. BC and the Augustean Period, shows continuity with previous technical and organisational patterns. The inclusion of the Arize Mountains in the new Transalpine Province, based on the data available to the date, seems to have had a small impact on the local mining activity. 

I am now involved in the project Iberian Tin. Ancient production, uses and circulation of tin in NW Iberia (PTDC/HAR-ARQ/32290/2017), directed by Elin Figueiredo (CENIMAT/i3N). My objective here is to study ancient vestiges of tin mining or tin metallurgy, by documental research, field surveys and excavations. Since Bronze Age, tin became a valuable product as it was necessary to make bronze, but the geological deposits are unevenly distributed. Bronze production in all Mediterranean area was so possible thanks to far distance trade routes, bringing the tin to places without it. NW Iberia, the largest tin field in Europe, could have provided these far-distance trade routes since Final Bronze Age and until the Roman Period. This project aims to valorise the Iberian tin production and deliver data on the role of this commodity in local economies and in these far-distance trade routes.

Main publications

Meunier, E., Cauuet, B., Munoz, M., 2017, « L'exploitation antique du cuivre dans le Séronais (Pyrénées centrales, France). Mine, métallurgie et habitat ». In: Treballs d'Arqueologia 21, pp. 223-245.


Comendador Rey, B., Meunier, E., Figueiredo, E., Lackinger, A., Fonte, J., Fernández Fernández, C., Lima, A., Mirão, J., Silva, R. J. C., 2017, « Northwestern Iberian Tin Mining from Bronze Age to Modern Times: an overview ». In: Newman, P. (Ed.), The Tinworking Landscape of Dartmoor in a European Context. Sowton, pp. 133-153.


Fabre, J.-M., Meunier, E., Souhassou, M., Rico, C., Antolinos Marín, J. A., 2017, « La mina romana de plomo argentífero de la Rambla del Abenque (Sierra Minera de Cartagena): morfología de los trabajos de extracción, tipos de mineralización y cronología de la explotación ». In: García Pulido, L., Arboledas Martínez, L., Alarcón García, E. et Contreras Cortés, F. (Eds.), Presente y futuro de los paisajes mineros del pasado: estudios sobre minería, metalurgia y poblamiento. Editorial Universidad de Granada, Granada, pp. 131-139.


Comendador Rey, B., Figueiredo, E., Fonte, J., Meunier, E., 2015, « La primera minería y metalurgia del estaño en la Península Ibérica: aportaciones al estado de la cuestión ». In: Mata-Perelló, J.M., Hunt Ortiz, M.A., Orche Garcia, E. (Eds.), Património geológico y minero: de la investigación a la difusión. Actas del XV Congreso Internacional sobre patrimonio geológico y minero, Logrosán 2014. SEDPGYM y Ayuntamiento de Logrosán, pp. 21-39 (ISBN 978-84-693-1675-7).


Meunier, E., 2018, Évolutions dans l’exploitation minière entre le second âge du Fer et le début de la période romaine dans les Sud-Ouest de la Gaule. Le cas du district pyrénéen à cuivre argentifère du Massif de l’Arize. Thèse de doctorat sous la direction de B. Cauuet et J.-P. Métailié, Université de Toulouse 2 Jean Jaurès.