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On the ore provenance of the Trojan silver artefacts

  • Jochen Vogl
  • Boaz Paz
  • Elisabeth Völling
Original Paper
  • 34 Downloads

Abstract

Lead isotopes are a well-established tool to trace the geographic origin of samples and artefacts in archaeology and geochemistry. In archaeology, lead isotopes are often applied to gain information on the provenance of the used ores especially in lead and silver artefacts. The assignment of a specific and unambiguous provenance in most cases is not possible or at least hindered due to several limitations such as ore deposits overlapping in their lead isotopic composition, a large spread within one ore deposit or a missing overlap with known mining sites. Such difficult cases can only be solved by using information from sources being independent of the isotope data. This information can be of chemical nature such as concentrations of key elements or they can be of archaeological nature such as cultural or trade route information. Within this study, we combined lead isotope data of ores and artefacts with silver mass fractions in the ore deposits, Au/Ag-ratios in ores and artefacts and finally archaeological information on the cultural context in the Mediterranean and Anatolian Region. This approach enabled us to significantly reduce the potential number of mining regions. Finally, the potential sources could be narrowed down to the three remaining locations the Central Taurus, Arap Dağ and the Eastern Troad. Beneath these three locations, the Central Taurus shows the highest probability for the geographic origin of the galena which has been used to create the Trojan silver artefacts.

Keywords

Trojan silver artefacts Priam’s treasure Lead isotope composition Central taurus Ore provenance Elemental composition 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors expressly thank the “Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin”, Berlin, especially Hermann Born and Matthias Wemhoff, for providing the samples and photographs.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM)BerlinGermany
  2. 2.PAZ Laboratorien für ArchäometrieBad KreuznachGermany
  3. 3.WürzburgGermany

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