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FINGERPRINTING OF ROMAN MINTS USING LASER-ABLATION MC–ICP–MS LEAD ISOTOPE ANALYSIS

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In this paper we present data to demonstrate the applicability of laser-ablation MC–ICP–MS isotope analysis to archaeological artefacts, in this case Roman silver coins. The technique requires no chemical preparation, does minimal damage to the sample and yields external reproducibility that is better than conventional TIMS analysis; 207Pb/206Pb =±0.015% 2 in comparison with 207Pb/206Pb =±0.04% 2, respectively. We show that Pb isotope compositions give isotope fingerprints to mints despite the likely reworking of the metal during coin production.
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Keywords: COINS; LASER ABLATION; MINTS; PB ISOTOPES; ROMAN; SILVER; THIRD CENTURY

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Rook Hill Cottage, 143 Main Street, Calverton, Nottingham NG14 6FE, UK. 2: NERC Isotope Geosciences Laboratory, British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham NG12 5GG, UK

Publication date: November 1, 2003

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