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First exploited by the Romans
Until recently, it was believed that the monks of the Échéry Monastery or the Lièpvre priory were the first to exploit silver veins in the Val d'Argent region, around the 10th century. In 2010, however, excavations brought Roman objects to light resembling miners' tools (around 200-300 AD). The small-scaled extractions in the mines ended in the 14th century due to plague epidemics and water drainage problems. It was not until the silver vein's discovery of 1549 and the arrival of new techniques that Saint-Jean Engelsbourg's mining activities restarted.
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