Pestle stamp for Crushing Gold Ores and "Cram", Abrud (Gura Cornei), Alba County

Unknownmiddle 19th century - 1966

Complexul National Muzeal ASTRA

Complexul National Muzeal ASTRA
Sibiu, Romania

In Ţara Moţilor traditional mining appeared in antiquity and in Dacian and Roman times and has developed since then. Of the numerous installations for processing ores, the so-called „şteamp” appeared in the 14th century and was used until the first half of the 20th century. The „şteamp” from Gura Cornei, near the town of Abrud dates back to the 1930's and it was brought to and rebuilt in the museum in 1966.
The construction that shelters the installation is an open barn whose two-sloped roof covered with „şiţă” is sustained on six poles thrust in the ground. The installation („şteamp”) is made of two arrows that have flint stones fastened at the ends with iron wings. A vertical yoke thrust in a massive sole where there were six holes where the gold ore was crushed by the arrows' successive fall, and alternately raised by the wedges hanging from a horizontals spindle sustains the arrows. At one end of the spindle the hydraulic wheel is attached with upper admission and the wheel activates the installation. Behind the holes in which the arrows fall (two for each hole), there is a square pool „pisoiste”, made of beams, that collects the sterile washed by the continuous running water.
The heavier gold settles at the bottom of the holes. Then it is taken out and washed in the construction next to the „şteamp”, called a „cram”. This is one room where the miners kept their tools used to find the gold.
From the „pisoiste”, the material that has been gathered and still contains traces of gold is washed on the „hurca” (a tilted board covered with a cloth that retains gold in the wool and the continuously running water in the evacuation canal evacuates the sterile.
The pieces of cloth were then washed in the „jomp” where the gold sand was separated out. The gold was heated to form balls or ingots.


  • Title: Pestle stamp for Crushing Gold Ores and "Cram", Abrud (Gura Cornei), Alba County
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: middle 19th century - 1966
  • Physical Dimensions: w3 x h4.04 x d4.46 m
  • Provenance: ASTRA Museum
  • Type: Reconstruction
  • External Link: ASTRA Museum

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