Image: Lucy Chippindale
Light from above
For most of its history, mining has been a backbreaking and hazardous occupation, as you can easily imagine looking at these old tunnels. During Roman times, slave labor was used to extract the precious ore, the ill-fated individuals chipping away with iron tools. It would have been a hard, miserable life, and for long periods – despite the shaft of sunlight seen in this photo – there would have been no ray of light for the miners. Well into the 20th century, conditions were still harsh, and until relatively recently, those who were sent down to endure them were the most vulnerable members of society: children.