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Assessment of the metal small finds from the wreck of The London
This article provides a glimpse at the fascinating array of objects found in the wreck of the second-rate ship "London" which exploded int he Thames of Southend-on-Sea on 7th March 1665. The results of the investigations over the last decade will be published in a Cotswold Archaeology Monograph envisaged for 2021.
Seventeen copper alloy objects and 11 tin alloy objects from the London protected wreck site, Project HE PR6901, were analysed using XRF. The compositions of the objects are compared to reference material from other sites in order to show overall trends in metal composition. The results show that the alloy was chosen depending on the type of object. The copper alloy objects, including the navigational dividers, calipers and sundial, were mainly brass of consistent composition. The pins contained the highest zinc contents whereas the ring and weight were more complex alloys containing much less zinc and higher lead contents. The two spoons with touchmarks had surviving tinned areas. The pewter objects were especially heterogeneous. Most of the cutlery and tableware was made from Guild specified, tin-rich alloys, whereas other types of object, including the button, chamber pot, and the threaded spout, contained more lead.