Microstructure, chemistry, and mineralogy approach for the diagnostics of metallic finds of the Tomba della Biga (Adria, Italy)
Marrocchino E, Telloli C, Finotti S, Facchi A, Eftekhari N, De Vito C.
Paper International Journal with referee
This work is focused on the characterization of metallic finds that are part of an ancient war biga from the Tomba della Biga, using different approaches for the diagnostics and also the conservation of this important cultural heritage. The materials analyzed were brought to light in the necropolis of Canal Bianco (Adria, Italy). The samples were analyzed using Optical Reflected Light Microscopy (ORLM), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and micro-Raman Spectroscopy (µ-RS). The results highlighted the occurrence of two different alloys (Fe and Cu-Sn-bronze) showing important structural and textural variations. These results, along with µ-RS, gave details on the surface and subsurface morphology, as well as the microstructures and the chemical and mineralogical composition of the finds. In particular, µ-RS highlighted the presence of magnetite and goethite as the main mineralogical phases for Fe-samples and malachite, azurite and Cu-oxide for bronze samples. In addition, an attempt was made to trace the manufacturing process, the purity of the alloys and the degree of slagging. Results of analytical studies show corrosion products of the samples which could be evidence of metallurgical aspects. The good state of conservation due to favorable conditions in the burial environment preserved the metal finds from intense corrosion, supporting the hypothesis that the samples reached equilibrium with soil during their life in the burial environment. This proposed methodology based on the microstructure, chemistry and mineral microanalysis allows the diagnostic and evaluation of the state of conservation of metallic finds.