Session: #318

Theme & Session Format

5. Assembling archaeological theory and the archaeological sciences
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

How Can Metal Corrosion Products Contribute to Archaeological Research? - Archaeometallurgy@EAA, Part 1
In archaeology, the outer surface of a metal artefact is increasingly valued. Corrosion products and adhering material often contain valuable information (e.g. ghost structures) and can significantly contribute to the artefact biography. In the conservation sciences, alteration layers are regularly examined to gain information about the local environment and the alloy with the aim to design the best treatment possible.
With the spread of affordable and easy-to-use portable equipment like pXRF, the number of analyses from this outer surface is increasing and curators become even more critical when it comes to invasive sampling. Using corrosion layers for analysis instead of exposing fresh metallic surfaces might allow access to more objects and could also be considered to gain sufficient information to answer a number of research questions. However, the plethora of different influences and processes during metal corrosion makes this task very challenging.
This session will therefore initiate the discussion on how to deal with alteration layers, from multiple perspectives and for all types of metal alloy, from copper and iron to silver, from the first metals to modern times. We want to explore matters such as the most efficient way to exploit the information potential of these outer surfaces, the best way to deal with difficulties arising from the combination of different analyses and to incorporate an environmental perspective on metal artefacts. Views from multiple disciplines, like archaeology, conservation science, materials science and technical art history will all aid in this discussion and widen our respective horizons.
We welcome all contributions dealing with the outer surface of archaeological metal objects as well as advantages and limitations in investigating them. The aim of this session is to raise awareness for this seemingly undervalued part of metal artefacts and to discuss how corrosion products can be incorporated into current archaeological research.
Corrosion studies, Metals, Alteration, Environmental Perspective, Archaeometallurgy
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Main organiser:
Thomas Rose (Germany) 1,2
Janneke van der Stok (Netherlands) 3,4
Manuel J. H. Peters (Italy) 5,6
1. Department of Bible, Archaeology and the Ancient Near East, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel
2. Scienze dell'Antichità, Sapienza - Università di Roma, Italy
3. University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
4. Metals Inc., The Netherlands
5. Politecnico di Torino, Italy
6. Universidade de Évora, Portugal