Room 2

The second room presents the history of the Amiata mines from the domains of the Aldobrandeschi and the Sforza of the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Although the exploitation of the mines is not documented before the 13th century, it is certain that the Aldobrandeschi dug cinnabar to obtain dyes and mercury. The Sforza of Santa Fiora were at their peak in the 15th century, evidence of the extraction of mercury being provided by the vice-count of Santa Fiora, Matteini, in one of his communications to Count Sforza: during the transportation of mercury in glass flasks from Selvena to Talamone, from where it was sent for Rome, the mule loaded with four flasks of the precious metal had gone wild, the flasks had broken, and the had been mercury lost in the ground. There was renewed interest in the mining industry from the mid-18th century to the late 19th century. In room 2, attention is paid to the organization of work in the mine, including a review of the techniques and means used for excavating cinnabar. There is a detailed description of the mineral cultivation systems and the methods of organizing work in the subsoil, highlighting in particular the lighting, ventilation and armament systems.