A History of Technology by Charles Singer et al (eds)

By Charles Singer et al (eds)

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It is also given to those suffering from complaints o f the liver [8]. , have been recorded from Cyprus. Such statues were probably quite small and cast in one piece; they were toys, or were used for magical processes, and were popular in Alexandria and elsewhere. Late tales about them were gross exaggerations; such was the 5000 lb figure ofBellerophonon horse­ back mentioned in Saxon times by Bede [10]. T h e practical-minded Romans seldom refer to such a u io s, though a little cast iron was perhaps intentionally made in Britain.

From Linares, south Spain . D . ) [13]. T h e Roman invasion o f Britain was no doubt mainly designed to tap the island’s mineral wealth, though perhaps also to deprive refugees from Gaul o f harbourage. T h e lead-ores o f Mendip were being exploited by a . d . 49, within half a dozen years o f the start o f effective conquest. Besides dated pigs o f lead, our evidence includes iron tools (figure 9) similar to those described above, and several leaden lamps, showing that some underground work was in progress [14].

When it appears to have passed under government control. T h e extraction (p 46) was evidently efficient, since a dish o f about 350 is 99*18 per cent tin, and objects o f nearly pure tin have been found as far north as Northumber­ land. But o f the mining o f British tin in Roman times, despite many legends, we know nothing. Iron-working was practised in Britain from about 500 b . c . , and was known to Julius Caesar as a local industry [16]. D uring the Roman occupation workings were very widespread, but mostly on a scale too small to be called mining.

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