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Characterisation of copper alloy antique ornamental accessories found in Northern Albania

Olta Çakaj, Edlira Duka, Zamir Tafilica, Frederik Stamati, Nikolla Civici, Teuta Dilo
  • Edlira Duka
    Department of Physical Engineering, Polytechnic University of Tirana, Albania
  • Zamir Tafilica
    Department of Archeology, Historical Museum of Shkodra, Albania
  • Frederik Stamati
    Centre of Albanological Studies, Tirana, Albania
  • Nikolla Civici
    Centre of Applied Nuclear Physics, University of Tirana, Albania
  • Teuta Dilo
    Department of Physics, University of Tirana, Albania


This study was performed to determine the chemical elements used to produce ancient metallic alloys and to understand the manufacture technique of three archaeological founds. It also presents an evaluation method of the objects’ authenticity based on the observation of the corrosion products. This article also includes three ornamental accessories ca. VII-IV century BC found in the vicinity of Shkodra (Albania). A necklace, a belt application and a button are examined using X ray fluorescence (XRF) to determine the chemical composition and optical microscopy (OM) with reflected and polarised light in order to study the microstructure and the corrosion products. From the XRF results all the objects are bronze, copper-tin and copper-tin-lead alloys. After the OM analysis they are authentic objects (not fake replicas) and might have been produced after a casting process in moulds.


copper alloy, X-ray fluorescence, optical microscopy, production technology

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Submitted: 2014-06-01 23:45:09
Published: 2014-10-14 00:00:00
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