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Unlocking the organic residues preserved in the corrosion from the Pewsey Hoard vessels

Carvalho, L. d. C., Henry, R., McCullagh, J. S. O. and Pollard, A. M. (2022) Unlocking the organic residues preserved in the corrosion from the Pewsey Hoard vessels. Scientific Reports, 12. 21284. ISSN 2045-2322

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-24400-5


The characterization of archaeological metal corrosion has traditionally been limited to the identification of inorganic compounds, thought to result from the interaction between the metal object and the deposition environment. The discovery of a hoard of Late Roman copper-alloy vessels in Wiltshire, UK presented an unique opportunity for evaluating a new approach to the characterization of archaeological metal corrosion combining FourierTransform Infrared (FTIR), X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and gas chromatography with quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry with a thermal separation probe (GC-QTOF-MS with TSP). The multi-analytical approach revealed organic compounds were identified preserved within crystalline inorganic matrices, some of which potentially historical. It has been known for some time that ceramics can harbour organic residues, which provide crucial evidence about the use of these vessels in the past. Our results demonstrate that similar residues appear to survive in metal corrosion, a material often discarded by conservators, thus extending the potential for identification of biomaterials used in the past.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Archaeology
ID Code:108997
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group


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