Applied Physics A

, Volume 113, Issue 4, pp 999–1008 | Cite as

Glass–metal objects from archaeological excavation: corrosion study

  • Elżbieta Greiner-WronowaEmail author
  • Dominika Zabiegaj
  • Paolo Piccardo


This paper contributes to the investigations on history, technology, and degradation of middle age objects (metallic rings with mounted glass beads) recently excavated under the Main Square in Krakow (Poland). Moreover, they were discovered in soil layers differing by chemical composition and microclimate parameters. Historical material is indeed very limited in terms of quantity and sample size, and the following nondestructive analyses were applied: scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDXS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF). The glass and the metal were separately tested. Metallography on cross-sections (by both optical and scanning electron microscopy) was applied only on microfragments sampled from metallic rings.

The achieved results pointed out how the local microclimate affected the degradation of the analyzed rings developing locally different corrosion processes. Each tested glass of “ring eye” shows a specific chemical composition. All glass pieces were covered by silica gel, and locally more advanced corrosion has been found.


Corrosion Product Glass Bead Alteration Process Copper Sulphide Copper Carbonate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank W. Glowa and C. Busko members of the Krakovian Society of the Archaeological Museum for allowing us to analyze the samples from excavation beneath the Main Market Square, in Krakow.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elżbieta Greiner-Wronowa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dominika Zabiegaj
    • 2
  • Paolo Piccardo
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Glass Technology and Amorphous Coatings, Faculty of Materials Science and CeramicsAGH—Technical University of Science and TechnologyKrakowPoland
  2. 2.Institute for the Energetic and the Interphases (IENI)Italian National Council of Researches (CNR)GenoaItaly
  3. 3.Dept. of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry (DCCI)University of GenoaGenoaItaly

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