The fortios disks revisited

António M.Monge Soares, Pedro Valério, Rui J.C. Silva, Luis Cerqueira Alves, Maria De Fátima Araújo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We have used EDXRF, Micro-PIXE and optical microscopy (metallographic analysis), complemented with SEM-EDS, to first determine the elemental content, and second, to identify the process used to join the components (disk, peripheral rod and tab) of several Iron Age gold buttons. These have a very similar typology and were found at three archaeological sites in the South-Western part of the Iberian Peninsula. A set of 35 buttons from Castro dos Ratinhos (7), Outeiro da Cabeça (23) and Fortios (5) were analyzed and the results published in Trabajos de Prehistoria (Soares et al. 2010). Recently Perea et al. (2016) have published analyses of other 4 gold buttons from Fortios with the same purpose, but only using one technique, SEM-EDS. As they only analysed the rough surface layer, the results are neither effective nor reliable, taking into account the constraints associated with the technique, namely the small depth reached (< 2 μm) by the incident beam and, consequently, its sensitivity to the topography of the analyzed surface. Despite these constraints, they have accepted uncritically their results and, at the same time, question our own analyses and results and the interpretation we have made. Here we discuss the approach of Perea et al. in order to determine not only the elemental content of the Fortios gold buttons, but also to identify the joining process used in their manufacture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-184
Number of pages4
JournalTrabajos de Prehistoria
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Gold buttons
  • Iron Age
  • Fortios
  • Analytical techniques
  • Joining processes


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