Metal and Glass

  • Mary E. Malainey
Part of the Manuals in Archaeological Method, Theory and Technique book series (MATT)


Compositional analysis of metals and their alloys is used to gain information about provenance, manufacturing processes, and artifact distributions at sites. The examples presented in this section show that elemental compositions of artifacts fashioned from unrefined native metal can be used to relate them to ore sources. Isotope ratios are more commonly used to assess the composition of refined metals, although concerns about changes related to manufacturing processes have been raised. Furthermore, it may not be possible to adequately demonstrate the homogeneity and normality of ore sources if too few samples are analyzed. Finally, a method for dating iron artifacts on the basis of carbon preserved in rust is presented.


Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis Lead Isotope Trace Element Composition Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry Native Copper 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary E. Malainey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyBrandon UniversityBrandonCanada

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