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Malta, copper, pXRF, Sicily, Aegean, trade

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The amount of prehistoric metal items discovered in the Maltese archipelago during the BronzeAge very limited in number. The majority of the artifacts are traditionally considered Aegean imports from nearby Sicily. Nineteen objects, currently on display in the National Archaeological Museum of Valletta, and dated between the 17th and 12th century BCE, represent the main evidence of metalwork in Malta during the Bronze Age. Daggers, axes, vessels, rings, pins and an ingot were found in Early and Middle/Late Bronze Age sites and were traditionally interpreted as made from bronze solely on the account of a direct visual exam. The aim of this contribution is to present the results of research carried out on those artifacts applying non-destructive portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (pXRF) in order to ascertain their chemical composition, to compare the data with those available for Sicily and the Aegean and discuss the archaeological implications of such outcomes.

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STAR: Science & Technology of Archaeological Research, v. 5, issue 2, p. 127-137

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