Skip to comments.Could museum's gold be from ancient Troy?
Posted on 02/02/2010 8:50:18 PM PST by SunkenCiv
The scientist had traveled from Germany to examine the ancient items that lay before him on the University of Pennsylvania laboratory table, and he was dazzled. Earrings with cascades of golden leaves. Brooches adorned with tightly coiled spirals. A necklace strung with hundreds of gold ringlets and beads. The jewelry bore a striking resemblance to objects from one of the world's great collections - a controversial treasure unearthed long ago from the fabled city of Troy... The 24 pieces had been purchased from a Philadelphia antiquities dealer more than 40 years ago, and came with no documentation of their origin. Even if they were genuine, the items likely had been dug up by looters... a colleague who had come to the lab with Pernicka spotted a clue that apparently no one had noticed in all the decades the museum had owned the jewelry: Encrusted inside one of the tiny gold loops was a speck of dirt.
(Excerpt) Read more at philly.com ...
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This is amazing science!
I love this stuff.Treasures from the royal tombs of Ur was on display a few years ago in Washington. Could not take my eyes off of that stuff.
It is. Of course, eventually some polity will assert ownership over it, claiming it was stolen or whatnot, offering the appearance of evidence (as opposed to actual evidence).
I wanted to go see that, didn’t make it. :’)
The 24 pieces from Philadelphia all appeared to be of ancient manufacture. And they were indeed consistent with the gold Schliemann had excavated at Troy in the 1870s. The gold in both collections was far from pure - containing as much as a third silver. Even more distinctive was the fact that both contained small but significant amounts of platinum - roughly 100 to 200 parts per million, suggesting the metal might even have been mined from the same river. Also similar were the ratios between the amount of platinum and another metal, palladium. "This points to the same geological source," Pernicka said. That doesn't necessarily mean anything about where Penn's jewelry was made, who wore it, and where it was excavated, he said.
The analysis of the soil, on the other hand, provided information from the artifacts' resting place. Using a technique called neutron activation, Pernicka revealed the amounts of a wide array of elements contained in the dirt, from arsenic to zinc. His finding: The composition was consistent with the soil in the Trojan plain. In particular, the dirt from the gold pendant contained a high level of arsenic - about 40 parts per million.
Not onlyistheworkmanship stunning,butthe technology is too.
Example: They have a spear there with a socketed head for the shaft as opposed to a "hafted" shaft. The Egyptians were still using hafted weapons until the new kingdom era, I think.
You’re right. I love that museum. I went with my Pastor one time who could read the script on the replica of the Hammurabi stone. It was awesome.
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