A collection of 33 anthropomorphic handle attachments of Roman situlae recovered from the archeological site of Conimbriga (Central Portugal, 2nd century BC–5th century AD) was studied by micro-Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry (micro-EDXRF), Scanning Electron Microscopy - Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) and metallographic techniques. Regarding the characterization of Roman artifacts of regional production, the relation among typology, composition and microstructure was evaluated in order to infer the Roman influence on the copper metallurgy in Western Iberia. The collection was found to be heterogeneous, mainly constituted by leaded copper and leaded bronzes, with a wide range of lead contents. The artifacts were all produced by mold casting, and most of them show some post-casting processing. Important casting faults and broken artifacts were associated with higher lead contents, and were mainly leaded copper. The leaded bronzes were more carefully produced. The overall results suggest a local metallurgical tradition, with the usage of copper and copper alloy scraps, with high additions of lead. The aim was to produce colored (and cheaper) artifacts, without any major concerns about the finishing details.
- optical microscopy
- Western Iberia