The black inlay decoration on a Mycenaean bronze dagger

Photos, E. , Jones, R.E. and Papadapoulos, T.H. (1994) The black inlay decoration on a Mycenaean bronze dagger. Archaeometry, 36(2), pp. 267-275. (doi: 10.1111/j.1475-4754.1994.tb00969.x)

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The black inlay decoration with superb marine, hunting and other scenes on Mycenaean bronze daggers and silver cups has often been referred to in the literature as niello—a mixture of sulphides of copper, silver or lead—despite the absence of any systematic analysis of these precious metal artefacts. This paper presents semi-quantitative surface analyses of an example of black inlay on a Mycenaean dagger, now in the Archaeological Museum at Patras in Greece. Using non-destructive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, it has been established that, contrary to the traditionally-held view, the black inlay is a copper-gold alloy with some silver and possibly small amounts of tin.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Jones, Dr Richard and Photos-Jones, Dr Effie
Authors: Photos, E., Jones, R.E., and Papadapoulos, T.H.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Journal Name:Archaeometry
ISSN (Online):1475-4754

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