Grindstone from Gosau at Dachstein
Grinding stones far older than mankind
Around 80 million years ago, fine particle, fossil- free sandstone formed a corrie in the cretaceous sea under which Gosau at Dachstein was situated at that time. As a result, high-quality sandstone was formed and mined for over 400 years. Most importantly, it was used to sharpen scythes and wood-working tools.
In spring each year, a layer of marl was removed. The marl protected the stone against snow and weathering. With the help of special tools, the shape of the grindstone was drawn and was subsequently chiseled out with a pick hammer. In winter the workers would transport the stone on huge sledges down to the valley. Lathes were then used to form the stone into the desired shape.
The stone is still being mined today on a part time basis. This valuable grindstone is used for small machines.
Valuable grindstone has been mined in Gosau for the past four centuries. Grindstone quarrying was an important source of income for the people of Gosau for around 400 years. Operations ceased in 1969. In 1989, however, ambitious local people who had…