Examination of ancient artefacts from Europe (2200 BC-1200 AD) using material analysis techniques

In this dissertation, a methodology for the nano analytical analysis of the inorganic (metal alloys and stones) and organic (amber) ancient artifacts is presented. A detailed microchemical analyses is demonstrated in four pilot studies. The first pilot study includes comparing 11th-12th century archaeological objects from two distant regions: former East Prussia and Ostriv cemetery. The second pilot study includes a detailed surface examination of a Neolithic copper axe coming from an Eskilstorp village in present day Sweden. The axe’s chemical analyses is conducted to identify the intrinsic and extrinsic elements and authenticate whether a surface treatment of the axe was conducted. The study was conducted to highlight if a reclassification of the Neolithic axe’s is needed on the basis of the presence of a decorative silver coating on these Neolithic axes from South Scandinavia. The third pilot study was conducted to study the weathering and degradation of Baltic amber exposed to the environment over decades and analytically comparing Baltic ambers collected from Denmark and Russian origins. The last pilot study consisted of identifying metallic traces on flint and testing the reliability of the trace element analysis methods. The trace element analyses is linked to examine the possibility of identifying whether metallic knapping tools were available in late Neolithic Denmark to produce flint sickles and daggers with intricate shapes.

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