Combining X-ray based methods to study the protohistoric bronze technology in Western Iberia

P. Valério, R. J C Silva, A. M M Soares, Maria F. Araújo, A. P. Gonçalves, R. M. Soares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The Phoenician arrival at Iberian coastal regions had an actual influence on indigenous technology. A collection of coeval metallurgical remains and artefacts was studied by EDXRF, micro-EDXRF, SEM-EDS and XRD, to identify certain features of the production and utilisation of metal in protohistoric Western Iberia. The composition of artefacts indicates a prevalence of Cu-Sn alloys with low content of impurities (Pb, As, Sb and Fe) during Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages, while the composition of slags points to a smaller loss of copper in Phoenician smelting operations. Moreover, the amount of iron impurities in metal proved to be a helpful discriminator between indigenous and Phoenician-based metallurgies, showing that later alloys have higher amounts of iron. Besides, the indigenous alloys have higher tin contents that can probably be explained by the easier access to metal sources of local communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-123
Number of pages7
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2015


  • Artefact
  • Slag
  • XRD


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