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Studying a 2 millennia old bronze kettle using easily accessible characterization techniques

Kotlar, Marta; Matijaković Mlinarić, Nives; Desnica, Vladan; Marušić, Katarina (2021) Studying a 2 millennia old bronze kettle using easily accessible characterization techniques. Heritage Science, 9 . ISSN 2050-7445

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A bronze kettle dating from the 1st to 2nd century was found in a riverbed of the Kupa river in Croatia. After excava-tion it spent another 50years in a depot of a museum in atmospheric conditions prior to starting the conservation treatment and our studies. A study on the surface layers development was performed to determine the whereabouts of the object through its history. This study is a demonstration of how such analysis can be used to reconstruct what the object went through during its life span. Samples taken from the kettle were observed by optical and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and analysed by X- ray fluorescence (XRF), X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR).It was determined that the kettle is made of low-tin bronze, with low amounts of iron, aluminium, calcium and nickel. While being in the riverbed malachite formed on the kettle. After longer exposure to the river Si-oxides and CaCO3formed on the surface of the kettle, over malachite. It was shown that the kettle probably had a ferrous alloy handle which degraded and disappeared in time. After excavation, the kettle came again in an oxygen-enriched atmosphere and formed new surface layers over the malachite layer. As the museum the kettle has been kept in since excavation is set in a highly industrial area sulphur compounds have been formed on the surface.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ancient bronze ; corrosion products ; patina ; surface layers
Subjects: HUMANISTIC SCIENCES > Archeology
Divisions: Division of Materials Chemistry
Depositing User: Katarina Marušić
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2021 11:26
DOI: 10.1186/s40494-021-00484-6

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