Knowledge of Mining Civilization (CL)
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Knowledge of Mining Civilization - Province of Caltanissetta

    Property included in the Register of Intangible Heritage of Sicily (REIS)

The recognition of the "Knowledge of Mining Civilization" asset - Book of Knowledge - concerns four territorial areas:

Province of Agrigento (data sheet with no. Prog. 7)

Province of Caltanissetta (technical sheet with program number 8)

Province of Enna (technical sheet with no. Progr. 11)

Municipality of Lercara Friddi (PA) (technical sheet with prog. No. 53)

The Good can be correlated with the Good "Holders of the Knowledge of the Mining Civilization" - Book of living human treasures concerning "The surfers" of the Province of Caltanissetta (form n. 10) and those of the province of Enna (form n. 12)


Technical sheet prepared by: Region of Sicily - Department of cultural heritage and Sicilian identity - CRicd: Regional center for inventory, cataloging and documentation and Sicilian regional film library 

Intangible Heritage Register

N. Prog. 8
Good: Knowledge of Mining Civilization
Book: REI - Book of knowledge
Approval date: 25-01-2006
Category: Knowledge
Province: Caltanissetta
Location: central southern Sicily
Chronological News
In the province of Caltanissetta, the extraction of sulfur has historically marked the economic development of the area. From the nineteenth century to the fifties of the twentieth century, Caltanissetta was adorned with the title of "World capital of sulfur".
In 1834 there were 196 mines in the Nisseno area, 88 of which under the municipal administration of Caltanissetta.
Many of these mines were the scene of mournful events including the tragedy in the Gessolungo mine in which a fire, in 1882, caused the death of many workers.
Caltanissetta was known not only for the richness of its subsoil, but also for the technical innovations that matured in its mines.
The Trabonella mine, on the right bank of the Imera river, opened in 1825, is counted not only for being among the largest and most important in Sicily, but also for the technological advances applied in the sulphurous supply chain.
The use of sulfur as a fundamental resource for the main industrial processes was so obvious in the last century that it was the subject of widespread scientific dissemination.
The knowledge of sulfur production is characterized by three phases which constitute the so-called sulfur cycle.
In addition to the extraction, which concerns the extraction of the sulfur ore from the mines and the transport to the surface, the smelting concerns the procedures for extracting the raw sulfur out of the extracted material.
In addition to the calcarone method, the system developed by Eng. Roberto Gill in 1880: the Gill oven. It is based on the concept that the heat produced by the melting of the sulfur can be used for the preparation of the material to be melted later. That is to say, with the construction of an oven with communicating cells (2 or more), a melting cycle organized in turn by phases is created, which determines a better performance of the operation. Basically this method is based on an energy saving principle. On the other hand, it was precisely the lack of fuel that had historically determined the success of the sulfur burning systems. The luck of the Gill kiln will be less than that of the limestone, being a machine with less approximate and elementary rules and characteristics than those of the limestone itself.
Addamus, Sebastian. 1989. Sulfur of Sicily. Palermo: Sellerio.
Make it, Francesco. 1987. Sicily in the 50s: studies and testimonies. Naples: Guide.
Rebecchini, Joseph. 1991. The sulfur routes in Sicily. Rome: Workshop.
DeSeta, Vittorio. Surfara. Directed by Vittorio De Seta. Rome: Cinecittà International, 1955. 10 min.
Saitta, Ugo. Zolfara. Directed by Ugo Saitta. Hearald Pictures, 1947. 11 min.
Author Profile: Francesca Maria Riccobene


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