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Agresti J.,CNR Institute of Applied Physics Nello Carrara | Osticioli I.,CNR Institute of Applied Physics Nello Carrara | Guidotti M.C.,Soprintendenza per i beni archeologici della Toscana | Capriotti G.,CNR Institute for the Study on Ancient Mediterranean | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry

Here, an innovative non-invasive multi-analytical approach for the archaeometallurgical characterisation of ancient bronze artefacts using high resolution neutron tomography, time of flight neutron diffraction, and laser induced plasma spectroscopy has been investigated. We show its effectiveness through an example application aimed at describing the crafting processes, characterising the alloy compositions and deterioration phenomenologies of three small bronze figurines from the antiquarian collection of the Egyptian Museum of Florence. The present methodology has allowed unprecedented overall archaeometallurgical descriptions of these artefacts based on the detection of fine morphological details, degree of mineralisation, elemental and phase composition of the metal walls, and mineral contents of the core materials. Such an approach can be extended to other hollow copper alloy artefacts in order to identify their raw materials and interpret their technological processes. © 2015 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Source

Agresti J.,CNR Institute of Applied Physics Nello Carrara | Osticioli I.,CNR Institute of Applied Physics Nello Carrara | Guidotti M.C.,Soprintendenza per i beni archeologici della Toscana | Kardjilov N.,Helmholtz Center Berlin | Siano S.,CNR Institute of Applied Physics Nello Carrara
Microchemical Journal

In the present work, structural imaging and non-invasive compositional analysis have been successfully combined in order to investigate three bronze figurines from the antiquarian collection of the Egyptian Museum of Florence. High-resolution neutron tomography was exploited for a thorough reading of the technological features of the mentioned copper alloy statuettes. At the same time portable XRF-XRD, Raman spectroscopy, laser-induced plasma spectroscopy, as well as time-of-flight neutron diffraction provided a powerful complementary analytical set for achieving reliable surface, depth profile, and bulk analyses. The proposed multi-analytical and non-invasive approach, involving neutron, X-ray, and laser techniques, allowed exhaustive identification of the raw materials and interpretation of the crafting processes used by ancient bronze smiths. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Source

Grazzi F.,CNR Institute for Complex Systems | Pallecchi P.,Soprintendenza per i beni archeologici della Toscana | Petitti P.,Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici dellEtruria Meridionale | Scherillo A.,CNR Institute for Complex Systems | Zoppi M.,CNR Institute for Complex Systems
Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry

This work presents the non-invasive analysis, through time of flight neutron diffraction, of a unique grey metal ferrous artefact in the shape of an awl. This object was found together with other copper samples in the Selvicciola Necropolis, which includes 34 eneolithic underground tombs, dated radiometrically between halfway through the fourth millennium and the end of the third millennium BC. The sample was originally covered with mineralization products. However, its main peculiarity resided in an almost total absence of rust. The uniqueness of such a sample imposed a non-invasive approach for its analytical study. In addition, being a singular object, in that environment, its study was considered mandatory to better understand the metallurgical skills of a copper-age community in central Italy. Thermal neutron scattering techniques have provided a wealth of information about the composition, the smelting process, and the mechanical and thermal treatments applied during the manufacture of the sample. The results obtained suggest that the sample had been treated according to the typical approach used for copper alloy smelting and smithing, i.e. cold working at room temperature and annealing at ∼700 to 800 °C. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Source

Antonioli F.,ENEA | D'Orefice M.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Ducci S.,Soprintendenza per i beni archeologici della Toscana | Firmati M.,Museo Archeologico del Distretto Minerario di Rio nellElba | And 5 more authors.
Quaternary International

This paper provides new data and interpretations on the relative sea level change occurred at Pianosa island (Italy) since the last ∼125. ka, where the recent relative sea level changes have not yet been adequately constrained, based on geomorphological and archaeological research of tectonic movements. The MIS 5.5 deposits are characterized by a 2. m thick sandstone, cropping out at a maximum altitude of 4. m a.s.l. containing Strombus bubonius, and are associated with an abrasion platforms carved by lithodome holes. These deposits, considered one of the best long term sea level markers, establish that Pianosa was a stable area since 125. ka. Archaeological remains provide evidence of sea level change for the last ∼8. ka. Particularly useful are some fishtanks and a quarry cut around 2. ka. BP (Roman age). The measurements, compared with predicted sea level curves, have established that Pianosa has remained stable during the last millennia. Based on this assumption, palaeomorphology variations since Palaeolithic age for this portion of the Tuscan Archipelago are reconstructed. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. Source

Revedin A.,Istituto Italiano di Preistoria e Protostoria | Longo L.,Musei Civici Fiorentini | Mariotti Lippi M.,University of Florence | Marconi E.,University of Molise | And 5 more authors.
Quaternary International

"Plant Resources in the Palaeolithic" is a research project focused on the technologies for plant food processing as documented by use-wear traces and plant residue on grinding tools found in European sites. Many researchers have been involved in the project, which encompasses the fields of archaeology, botany and food processing technologies, within the context of the history of European Prehistoric societies. The first study was carried out on use-wear traces and plant remains recovered from grinding tools from the sites of Bilancino (Italy), Kostienki 16 (Russia) and Pavlov VI (Czech Republic), dating to the Middle-Upper Palaeolithic (Gravettian and Gorotsovian) around 28,000-30,000cal BP. The results demonstrated that vegetable food processing and the production of flour was a common practice across Europe from at least 30,000 years ago and that flour, a high-energy food, was a component of the food economy of mobile hunter gatherers. Flour production and consumption imply multi-step processing from harvesting to cooking to obtain a suitable and digestible food, and that this was part of an Upper Paleolithic behavioural package. This paper presents new data from two Gravettian pestles, found at Grotta Paglicci - level 23a (Southern Italy) and at Dolni Vestonice I (Czech Republic), which furnish further information about plant exploitation and the technologies related to plant food processing. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. Source

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