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Alessandra Giumlia-Mair

Alessandra Giumlia-Mair
AGM Archeoanalisi

Dr.Phil., M.Sc.

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63
Publications
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479
Citations

Publications

Publications (63)
Article
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Review of Stefania Pafumi’s 2020 Disiecta membra. Frammenti di statuaria bronzea di età romana del Museo Civico di Catania
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This paper presents an overview of techniques employed in antiquity—in different regions and at different times—for decorating metals by plating or applying surface treatments. Quite often the intention was to disguise metals and alloys to give the impression of better-quality materials. In other cases, the treatments produced special decorative ef...
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This paper presents the results of X-ray fluorescence analysis carried out in the last years on silver objects from three different Cretan Early Minoan cemeteries, Hagia Photia Siteias, Kephala Petras, and Livari Skiadi, dated to ca. 3000 to 2800 BC. The classes of objects discussed in this paper comprise mainly daggers and jewelry pieces; other ki...
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This paper presents the analytical data collected from the analyses of several cauldrons with cross-attachments, perhaps better known under the German name Kreuzattaschenkessel. The analyses seem to confirm the hypothesis that these distinctive artifacts had been produced in two different periods and areas and show different characteristics. The ch...
Article
DIS MANIBVS GERMANICI IVLII CAESARIS (on the 2,000th anniversary of his death) This archaeological note presents the findings from a scientific analysis of the bronze of an over-life-sized cuirassed statue of Germanicus from Amelia (ancient Ameria). The examination was recently carried out in the Museo Archeologico di Amelia to determine both the n...
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The origin of the tin used for the production of bronze in the Eurasian Bronze Age is still one of the mysteries in prehistoric archaeology. In the past, numerous studies were carried out on archaeological bronze and tin objects with the aim of determining the sources of tin, but all failed to find suitable fingerprints. In this paper we investigat...
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A pin made of a copper-based alloy, found at Tapada da Ajuda (Lisbon, Portugal), a site dated to the beginning of the Late Bronze Age, was analysed by XRF and examined by microscopy. The results of this study and the unusual manufacturing technique of the pin are presented and discussed in this paper. Typology and production technique of this objec...
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The workshop of Zambana el Vato (region Trentino, Northern Italy), is dated to the period between the 7th-6th and the 5th century BC. Iron working activities are clearly recognizable from the various finds. Among them there are working slag, heated clay, fragments of hearth or forge, hammerscale and more residues that can be referred to iron techno...
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The excavations carried out on the site of Zambana el Vato, province of Trento, Italy, dated to the 7th - 5th century BC revealed the structures of a 5th century metal workshop in which both copper-based alloys and iron were worked. This paper presents the results of 119 analyses carried out by XRF on the copper-based finds recovered on the site, d...
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This paper presents the results of applying neutron imaging methods to the gold bust of Marcus Aurelius, an analytical procedure that was carried out in 2006 at the Paul Scherrer Institut in Villigen (Switzerland). The results have produced a better understanding of the gold repoussé manufacturing techniques for large pieces. Given the number of go...
Article
In the restoration-conservation practice of medieval art masterpieces, such as the Holy Lady Shrine from Huy, knowledge about the techniques used to create and shape them is of major importance, especially when they concern the surface finishing treatments. This influences the selection of methods employed for the conservation-restoration process....
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The excavations of Bronze Age settlement sites in eastern Crete have yielded a large corpus of metal objects. These habitation contexts tend to date to the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1600–1100 BC). The artifacts are mostly comprised of small toiletry items, small weapons such as daggers and knives, and tools for utilitarian purposes such as axes, chisels...
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Mercury gilding (amalgam gilding or fire gilding) is an ancient technique, and it is apparently attested in the West from around the mid first millennium BC. We must note, however, that only very few gilt objects have been properly analysed and that, until now, the problem of the origin of mercury gilding is generally very little researched in diff...
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The paper discusses the studies carried out by several scholars on the evolution of the society in Northern Europe in the 2nd Mill. BC and on the possible connections between the Baltic area and the Mediterranean world. The social and economic changes due to the arrival of warriors on chariots pulled by horses and carrying new weapons produced at t...
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The Mycenaean necklace found in a tomb in the Limenaria cemetery at Mochlos, Crete, consists of a row of faience beads and a central gold bead, and it is dated to the LM IIIA period (about 1400–1300 BC). Studies on faience have shown that different production technologies were used in this period: efflorescence, cementation and direct application m...
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Artificially black patinated finds from Mycenaean contexts are among the most interesting Bronze Age metal objects. They come from several contexts in the Eastern Mediterranean and are important because of their technology and as indication of trade and cultural connections. Regrettably only few examples of items of this material have been scientif...
Chapter
This paper presents the studies carried out on the silver cup found in Enkomi (Cyprus), now part of the collections of the National Museum of Nicosia (Cyprus, inv. nr. 4207). The piece has been first published by Claude Schaeffer and later discussed by several scholars, notably by Robert Laffineur. In the 50's the Enkomi cup has been restored in th...
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This paper presents the analysis results of the copper- based finds, from the important Sicilian necropolis of Madonna del Piano, near Grammichele (Catania), dated between the local Final Bronze Age 2 and the Early Iron Age IA. 122 copper-based finds from the 273 graves (1970-71) of the large cemetery have been analysed. The sampled objects belong...
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Key issues related to surfaces and materials in the study and conservation of archaeological, artistic and historical objects are presented and illustrated with case studies. The materials cover a relatively broad chronological and compositional range. An important objective of the review is to inform the materials science and engineering community...
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The excavations carried out since 2005 at Aiano-Torraccia di Chiusi, near San Gimignano (Siena) in Tuscany, by the team of the Université catholique de Louvain, directed by Prof. Marco Cavalieri, have unearthed the remains of a Roman villa, dated between the 3rd and the end of the 5th century or the beginning of the 6th century A.D. The complex, ab...
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Over the past century, the powerful but mythical image of knights in shining armour, with bright polished swords to match, has dominated our view of what ironwork looked like: that of a polished greyish-white metal. This impression is gained not only from descriptions and illustrations in many books but is also obvious from even a casual walk aroun...
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In the last decade several archaeological projects concerning metallurgical tradition and techniques, were carried out on metal finds from various sites around the Northern Adriatic and in the Eastern Alps. The pieces, made of different metals, are dated to various periods, between the Late Bronze Age and Late Antiquity. The results of different ki...
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Arsenical copper was widely used in the Early Bronze Age, but it was not employed after the introduction of copper–tin alloys in the period around the Middle Bronze Age. Nevertheless the present research showed that a few ornamental objects of particular kind were made of a copper alloy with a silvery surface, containing arsenic, antimony and often...
Article
About 100 Phoenician copper alloy artefacts from Morro de Mezquitilla (Spain) have been analysed by inductively coupled plasma spectrometry and atomic unpublished analyses of contemporary material from Nimrud and with small finds of the same period from several Mediterranean areas. There are no published large-scale analyses of Phonenician metalwor...
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A number of archaeological copper based objects, presenting tin rich layers on the surface, dated to different periods and coming from very different geographical contexts in the Ancient World, are discussed in this paper. The different reasons for the presence of tin rich layers on the surface of ancient items have been discussed before. However,...
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Over the last two decades, together with the increasing prices in the antique market and the proliferation of private 'hobby collectors', the number of fakes in circulation among antique shops, auctions and even institutions and museums has noticeably increased. So called 'bronzes' seem to be the favourite objects for both fakers and inexperienced...
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The tasks and problems which the study of ancient artefacts involves are manifold and almost as numerous as the different classes of materials and objects studied by modern specialists. This happens especially because the conservation of artefacts depends not only on their material and manufacturing techniques, but also very much on the environment...
Article
In recent years, several groups of archaeological metal finds from the areas around the southeastern Alps, dated between Bronze Age and Roman times, have been scientifically analysed (by ICP, AAS and/or XRF) within the framework of different projects. The data now available give a fairly good general picture of the evolution and development of meta...
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In 1997, a hoard of copper-based objects was discovered at the megalithic site of al-Midamman, on the Red Sea Tihama coastal plain of the Republic of Yemen. Since there have been very few metal artifacts discovered in the lowlands of Yemen, and there was limited stratigraphy on the site, determining the time and place of production for these artifa...
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Ancient artisans conferred special colourings to their metal artefacts by particular techniques, which went lost in later centuries. They were also able to give to copper based alloys the appearance of precious metals. The author presents ancient examples of coloured metals and alloys, identified by scientific methods and discusses the problem of r...
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Ancient artisans were able to confer special colourings to their artefacts by applying particular techniques and treatments, which were lost in later centuries. They were also able to give copper based alloys the appearance of precious metals. Some of these special methods have been discovered and identified on ancient objects. The most famous of t...
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In March 1997 the excavation team of Edward Keall, Head of the Department of Near Eastern and Asian Civilization of the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (Canada) found the remains of an apparently prehistoric site in a region that was supposed to have been uninhabited until the Middle Ages. On the site there are megalithic pillars of granite and basal...
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Middle Kingdom texts refer to several kinds of copper, but not in the surviving corpus to hmty km 'black copper'. However, recent analyses have demonstrated that the Egyptians of the late Middle Kingdom were familiar with the distinctive 'black copper' of the ancient world, often misidentified by modern scholars as niello. This is a copper-based al...
Chapter
Artificially patinated purple-black copper-gold-alloys, similar to some of the later Japanese irogane-alloys have been identified by the authors by analysing ancient objects belonging to the collections of the British Museum. The analyses have shown that the black metal is a very distinctive alloy of bronze with small amounts of gold, silver and oc...
Chapter
Distinctive and highly prized black-patinated bronzes inlaid with precious metals are known from a number of early cultures. Investigation of these has shown that they are technically very similar, an alloy of copper or bronze with small amounts of gold, silver and sometimes arsenic, inlaid and then patinated with hot aqueous solutions. They includ...
Chapter
In this chapter the evidences for the original appearance of classical bronze statuary is considered. Although it seems that the metal was usually kept polished and substantially free of corrosion, the literary sources do suggest that treatment with oil gave a distinctive patina.
Article
The tasks and problems, which the study of ancient artefacts involves, are complex and manifold and almost as numerous, as the different materials and objects, studied by modern specialists. This happens especially because the conditions of the artefacts depends on their material and on the production techniques, but also on the environment and on...

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