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The Salt Saga - White Gold of the Alps
Year: 2020
Run-Time: 1 x 52 min.

Directed by Katharina Heigl
Written by Susanne Utz

ORF, Degnfilm, BR, ARTE funded by Austrian Television Fund
Available worldwide

Languages: German (ORIGINAL) , English (DUBBED) , French (DUBBED) , German (SUB TITLE)

The Salt Saga - White Gold of the Alps

The Salt Saga - White Gold of the Alps

The Austrian Alps contain the world´s oldest salt mine. 2,500 years ago, it was home to one of Europe´s most significant settlements and has even lent its name to an Iron Age culture: Hallstatt. Salt, the White gold of the Alps, put the tiny community at the heart of an international trade network: finds of ivory and amber are evidence of trade with Africa, Asia and the entire European continent. How did prehistoric miners manage to dig several kilometres of tunnels into the mountains? How did they live? How did they trade, and with whom? For the first time, this primetime documentary investigates the lives of the people and their work in the prehistoric salt mines in detail. The central protagonist is a young woman who migrates from the Balkans to Hallstatt. She experiences the booming trade in salt - and a tragic mine disaster that interrupts the economic success. From the arrival in Hallstatt to her later trade missions; from her wedding to her own funeral. The fact that the main protagonist is a woman reflects modern scientific discoveries, which have revealed previously unknown fascinating details: woman and children played central roles in prehistoric Hallstatt, both in the mines and in wider society. The documentary creates a historically accurate and convincing life for the woman, from the jewellery she wore to the tools she used in the mines and the grave goods placed in her burial mound. Spectacular re-enactments based on the exhaustive research in the fields of genetics, archaeology, botany and geology and detailed animations and complex CGI ensure a thrilling and engaging examination of the lives of our ancestors 2,500 years ago.
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