X-radiography of metal finds from the site of Vetricella

X-radiography is a rapid non-destructive technique that enables to read artefact form and structure beneath corrosion layers and burial accretions, providing a long-term visual record of inherently unstable and potentially deteriorating materials.

While x-radiography alone cannot identify artefact composition, it can however offer evidence as to the nature of the material or materials, constituting an aid in subsequent microstructural analysis informing on the possible choice of sampling area according to parts of interest and local condition. Furthermore, a radiograph may act as a ‘roadmap’ at the diagnostic stages of artefact conservation or restoration.

A number of iron and copper alloy finds from the site of Vetricella were selected to undergo radiographic examination at Centro Diagnostico Omega (Mesagne, BR) in order to confirm initial autoptic examination as well as contributing to object characterization, classification and technological description (Fig.1-2). Results will also assist in the successive stages of artefact sampling and metallographic examination.