Goldwork in Ancient Egypt: workshop practices at Qurneh in the 2nd Intermediate Period - NMS Research Repository
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Goldwork in Ancient Egypt: workshop practices at Qurneh in the 2nd Intermediate Period

10 October 2014

Abstract

Described by Petrie as ‘the largest group of goldwork that had left Egypt’, the jewellery from the intact burial of an adult and child discovered at Qurneh in 1908 is the most important group of gold objects excavated in Egypt dating from the 2nd Intermediate Period (c. 1800–1550 BC). This unique collection has been studied using several non-invasive analytical techniques (μPIXE, PIGE, XRF, and SEM-EDS), while calculation of the effective penetration depth values allowed the degree of surface enrichment to be assessed. The most recent results in respect of gold-working techniques are discussed and related to published work on the techniques used in Egypt in the same era and the subsequent era. The data showed, the coexistence, in a single grave, of jewellery with different levels of wear and colours of gold. The extensive use of hard soldering by the addition of copper to the gold-based alloys was also revealed. All the objects presented PGE inclusions implying the use of alluvial gold and/or recycling of ancient alloys made with this type of gold.

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