Are analyses of uncorroded ancient alloys representative?

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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Organ, R.M.;


Studies in conservation, Volume 7, Number 2, p.48-55 (1962)


analysis, metal, sampling


This is a commentary on an article by H. Jedrzejewska in an earlier issue. The author concludes, "Evidence has been presented that the present composition of the uncorroded portion of a metallic antiquity does indeed represent its original composition, and that neither the heterogeneity of metallic structure nor the presence of mineralization nor products of improper cleaning can render unrepresentative the results of an analysis made on a sample obtained from the object, provided only that the sample is obtained by methods suggested. It must be stressed that objects in the galleries, already cleaned, are satisfactory sources of analytical materials, and that the danger which is presented to the accumulation of knowledge by premature and hasty cleaning concerns patina and corrosion products, not analysis of the metal." Garry Thomson