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Nondestructive Analysis of Silver Coins Minted in Taras (South Italy) between the V and the III Centuries BC


Affiliations
1 Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche e Ambientali, Universita del Salento, Via Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy
2 Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica, Universita del Salento, Via Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy
3 Dipartimento di Beni Culturali, Universita del Salento, Via D. Birago No. 64, 73100 Lecce, Italy
4 Dipartimento di Lettere e Beni Culturali (DiLBEC), Seconda Universita di Napoli, Santa Maria Capua Vetere, 81055 Caserta, Italy
 

This work enters in an interdisciplinary research project involving the archaeometrical analysis of ancient silver coins minted in the Greek colony of Taras (the modern south Italian town of Taranto) between the V century BC and the III century BC. In this work, by comparing the results obtained from X-ray microanalysis data acquired from the least corroded surface areas and the cross section of coins from SEM-EDX and from XRF analysis, we have demonstrated that analysed coins exhibited a corrosion layer no more than 25 μm and that surface silver enrichment was less than 1 wt%. Thus, the data obtained by using X-ray microanalysis from surface may not significantly differ from the original bulk composition. Our results demonstrate that the silver content in the coins decreases considerably ranging from about 97% for the older down to 80% for the ones of 3rd Evans period (300-270 BC), corresponding to the significant social change in the period.
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  • Nondestructive Analysis of Silver Coins Minted in Taras (South Italy) between the V and the III Centuries BC

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Authors

Alessandro Buccolieri
Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche e Ambientali, Universita del Salento, Via Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Giovanni Buccolieri
Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica, Universita del Salento, Via Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Emanuela Filippo
Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche e Ambientali, Universita del Salento, Via Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Daniela Manno
Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche e Ambientali, Universita del Salento, Via Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Giuseppe Sarcinelli
Dipartimento di Beni Culturali, Universita del Salento, Via D. Birago No. 64, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Aldo Siciliano
Dipartimento di Beni Culturali, Universita del Salento, Via D. Birago No. 64, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Rosa Vitale
Dipartimento di Lettere e Beni Culturali (DiLBEC), Seconda Universita di Napoli, Santa Maria Capua Vetere, 81055 Caserta, Italy
Antonio Serra
Dipartimento di Beni Culturali, Universita del Salento, Via D. Birago No. 64, 73100 Lecce, Italy

Abstract


This work enters in an interdisciplinary research project involving the archaeometrical analysis of ancient silver coins minted in the Greek colony of Taras (the modern south Italian town of Taranto) between the V century BC and the III century BC. In this work, by comparing the results obtained from X-ray microanalysis data acquired from the least corroded surface areas and the cross section of coins from SEM-EDX and from XRF analysis, we have demonstrated that analysed coins exhibited a corrosion layer no more than 25 μm and that surface silver enrichment was less than 1 wt%. Thus, the data obtained by using X-ray microanalysis from surface may not significantly differ from the original bulk composition. Our results demonstrate that the silver content in the coins decreases considerably ranging from about 97% for the older down to 80% for the ones of 3rd Evans period (300-270 BC), corresponding to the significant social change in the period.