A study on the traditional production of lime: The role of oral sources

Rita Vecchiattini, Giovanni Pesce

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The historical reconstruction of the productive process of lime is not the reconstruction of historical events but the reconstruction of the empirical knowledge, of the "art secrets", of the productive capacity and of the task sequences involved in this productive activity; contents with respect to which oral sources have the greatest potential. Every source is important because it contains the knowledge of a specific aspect and because it is related to a specific characteristic of the source itself. It is well known that information provided by a single source is partial and that the only way to know the true facts is to cross information from several sources. However, there is information that hardly can be acquired through the use of other sources. For instance, it is possible to know where and when a specific furnace has been built using a historical map and/or using a document contained in the archives. It is also possible to know a specific practice usually applied in lime production through a legal argument or it is possible to know the cost of the wood bundle used as fuel in the lime furnaces. But it is impossible to use the above mentioned sources to know, for instance, which parameters were useful in deciding the switching on or off of a furnace or, again, when it was useful to add some wood bundle insides the furnace during the firing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNuts & Bolts of Construction History
EditorsRobert Carvais, André Guillerme, Valérie Nègre, Joël Sakarovitch
Place of PublicationParis
Number of pages690
ISBN (Print)9782708409293
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2012
Event4th ICCH (International Congress on Construction History) - Paris, France
Duration: 7 Jul 2012 → …

Publication series

NameCulture, Technology and Society


Conference4th ICCH (International Congress on Construction History)
Period7/07/12 → …
Internet address


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