There’s a double hit of interesting metal artifact research news this week.
So researchers might then be tempted to look at isotope ratios of copper which was added to the silver coins to improve their hardness. But scientists have to be wary of drawing too many conclusions from copper isotope analysis of silver coins because the copper might not have originated from the same place that the silver was mined.
With so many caveats, I might be tempted to give up on the project. Undaunted, Desaulty’s team first figured out how to use a recently improved technology to distinguish silver isotopes (which is incidentally called Multi-Collector Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry, oh yes!). And then they combined these silver results with their copper and lead isotope measurements.
So while Desaulty figured out the geographical provenance of a metal, this week’s second metal-related discovery is on metal dating.