Physics helps to unlock the mysteries of the ancient Greek artifacts

07.05.2004

07.05.2004


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Recently, the role of increased markedly methods using the latest achievements in the field of physics and other natural sciences, in the analysis of archaeological finds. Manolis Pantos (Manolis Pantos) and his colleagues at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (Rutherford Appleton Laboratories) in the United Kingdom used the radiation emitted by the synchrotron and neutron beams in order to carry out detailed studies of ancient Greek bronze helmet. These so-called non-destructive methods have helped to unravel the mysterious story connected with this subject, and now they plan to apply for the study of other ancient artifacts.
Pantos and his team studied the combat helmet "Corinthian type", dating from the VII century BC, which is currently on display at the Manchester Museum. Alistair Jackson (Alistair Jackson), an art historian and museum employee, suggested that the helmet was made from a single piece of bronze, that is, using technology that has proven so effective that was used in Italy, even in the XV century. Jackson also showed a suspicion that the front part of the helmet was added much later.

To test these hypotheses, the group subjected the helmet Pantos a variety of tests: it has been studied using surface X-ray diffraction techniques, X-ray fluorescence and infrared spectroscopy — using the Synchrotron Radiation Source (Synchrotron Radiation Source — SRS) in Deyrsberi (Daresbury). Used as a neutron source ISIS in the Rutherford Laboratory to reveal the microstructure of the different parts of the object.

"We have confirmed the suspicions Alistair Jackson and found that the nose is indeed the later" prosthesis "," — concludes Pantos. This piece dates from the XIX century, and apparently it was added to the man who once found a helmet. It is made from an alloy of copper and zinc (brass), while the helmet itself is made of copper and tin (bronze). In addition, information about the orientation of the crystal blocks in bronze, mined by neutron texture analysis speaks in favor of the theory of Jackson's helmet really was derived from a single part of the alloy.

"We believe that the index case will prompt solutions to similar problems to other researchers and museum staff — said Pantos. — Using SRS and ISIS we are able to probe the entire statue, made of bronze or marble."

07.05.2004

See also: Civilizations Antarctica Recent archaeological finds.

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