[en] Bedload dispersion is evaluated in gravel-bed rivers using slag elements from ironworks established along rivers in the Ardenne region, between the fourteenth and the nineteenth centuries. Large quantities of slag were dumped close to these rivers or even directly into the channels. For centuries, slag elements were dispersed in the bedload and transported by floods of varying importance. Consequently, slag may be considered as a reliable tracer to analyze bedload dispersion over several centuries. The size of slag elements was studied along 16 Ardenne rivers. The longitudinal size trend of the largest slag particles allows the effective competence of these rivers to be determined (between 19 and 129 mm for rivers where specific stream power for the bankfull discharge ranges between 20 and 134 W/m²). A direct relationship doesn’t exist between these two parameters as the size of slag elements must be considered with regard to the D50 of the bed. Selective transport was analyzed directly downstream of the input sites. The sorting distance varies from river to river and depends on the velocity of the coarse elements introduced into the river since the inception of the iron industry. Downstream of two metallurgic sites, the slag propagation fronts were located. As the periods of activity at these sites are known from historical studies, the virtual velocity of bedload movement in these rivers was estimated to be 2-4 km/century.