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Characterization of slag inclusions in iron objects

Maxime L'Héritier 1 Stéphanie Leroy 2, 3 Philippe Dillmann 2, 3 Bernard Gratuze 4 
2 LAPA - UMR 3685 - Laboratoire Archéomatériaux et Prévision de l'Altération
NIMBE UMR 3685 - Nanosciences et Innovation pour les Matériaux, la Biomédecine et l'Energie (ex SIS2M)
3 IRAMAT - LMC - IRAMAT - Laboratoire Métallurgies et Cultures
IRAMAT - Institut de Recherches sur les Archéomatériaux
4 IRAMAT-CEB - IRAMAT - Centre Ernest Babelon
IRAMAT - Institut de Recherches sur les Archéomatériaux
Abstract : Tracing the origins of iron artifacts generates great interest in iron metallurgy. Chemical analysis of non-metallic slag inclusion (SI) entrapped in iron produced in bloomery furnaces is an efficient mean for provenance studies as, within their composition, SI do not only carry the conditions of production but also the chemical signature of the iron ore initially used. The analytical protocol is a three stage process: (a) metallographic identification and selection of SI, (b) characterization of their main component using SEM-EDX, (c) traces element determination using LA-ICP-MS. LA-ICP-MS analysis allows to quantify up to 39 trace elements in the fayalitic-rich matrix of SI with detection limits at the ppm level. Compositional ratios are then compared with one another and to the chemical signature of previously analysed regions of production. The methodology was applied on iron armatures from the cathedral of Bourges to study their fabrication, their installation in the building and their provenance. Results obtained allow a better understanding of the role of these armatures and the supply of this construction site.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 14, 2016 - 12:05:20 PM
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Maxime L'Héritier, Stéphanie Leroy, Philippe Dillmann, Bernard Gratuze. Characterization of slag inclusions in iron objects. Dussubieux, Laure; Golitko, Mark; Gratuze, Bernard. Recent Advances in Laser Ablation ICP-MS for Archaeology, Springer Verlag, pp.213-228, 2016, 978-3-662-49894-1. ⟨10.1007/978-3-662-49894-1_14⟩. ⟨cea-01381291⟩



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