Gibt es onymische Hinweise auf vordeutschen Bergbau im Grossraum von Schwaz?
ARE THERE ANY PRE-GERMAN NAMES IN THE AREA OF SCHWAZ POINTING TO MINING ACTIVITIES?
It is due to the Austrian 'Fonds zur Foerderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung', that the Special Research Programme HiMAT has been established at the University of Innsbruck. Its aim is the research of the history of mining in the Tyrol and its adjacent regions on a multi- and interdisciplinary way, in a scientific 'network'. Among others onomastic science is a single discipline in this wide-range spectre of research as onomastic indicators can be important evidence for the (earlier) mining activities. Schwaz is the name of a town in the so-called lower Inn valley in the Austrian Tyrol. Already in prehistoric time copper-mining was pursued in the surroundings of Schwaz, more important, however, was the later silver mining. Schwaz, the 'mother of all mines', was one of the biggest mining centres in Central Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries. In this time the language spoken was a late mediaeval or Early-Modern German and several German names still remind of the mining not only in the town of miners itself but also in the surroundings. One can compare the (etymologically transparent) names: Arzberg (- Arz 'ore' - MHG erze, arze, erze - OHG aruz/aruzzi/arizzi), Schwader Eisenstein (- Eisen 'iron' - MHG isen), Klocker (the family name is already attested in Vomp in 1427 and in Schwaz in 1534, derived from the old profession 'one who breaks out the ore' - MHG klocken 'break' - OHG klokkon ‚beat, break, stamp, knock'), Sponring (originally a name of a farm) a nick-name for a smith, as well as Schlagger (place-name in Wattens; - Schlagg [bzw. Schlagg§] ,slag'), and Knappenhof (name of a solitude farm) and Knappenhuettl (both in the community of Vomp), which are motivated by miners (compare MHG knappe 'miner') and many more. All these names are of German origin as already stated, and now the question rises if names of an older linguistic layer and connected to mining can be found in the region of Schwaz. According to the intensive onomastic research this question, however, has to be answered in the negative.
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