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Non-destructive micro-analytical system for the study of the manufacturing processes of a group of gold jewels from “El Carambolo” treasure

AuthorsScrivano, S.; Ortega-Feliú, I. ; Gómez-Tubío, B.; Ager, F. J. ; Bandera, M. L. de la; Respaldiza, M. A. ; Ontalba-Salamanca, M. Á.
El Carambolo
Gold jewelry
Portable micro-XRF
Issue Date2017
CitationRadiation Physics and Chemistry 130: 133-141 (2017)
AbstractThe impressive gold treasure of El Carambolo, representative of the Tartesic culture and dated from the 8th to 6th century BCE, constitutes a typological and stylistic unity unparalleled in the archeological field. Due to the importance of this treasure and the interest in studying it in depth, a new micro X-ray fluorescence (micro-XRF) portable system has been developed at the Centro Nacional de Aceleradores (Sevilla, Spain). Eleven jewels of El Carambolo treasure have been analyzed in order to characterize the composition of the employed alloys, to identify the manufacturing processes and to discuss hypothesis about the production workshop of the treasure. Besides, the application of the new micro-XRF instrumentation allowed the analysis of small details like decoration elements and joining areas. This study permits the characterization of the joining methods and manufacturing procedures, thus, the construction stages of these highly complex jewels can be inferred. Many archeological and historical studies of the treasure have been performed during the last years but very few analytical results have been published. Furthermore, the results demonstrate the capability of the new developed portable micro-XRF setup to substitute satisfactorily other micro-analytical techniques, such as micro-PIXE (Particle Induced X-ray Emission), when the sample cannot be brought to a laboratory.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.radphyschem.2016.08.008
issn: 0969-806X
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