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Title: An X-ray fluorescence investigation of ancient Roman musical instruments and replica production under the aegis of the European music archaeological project
Authors: Pelosi, Claudia 
Agresti, Giorgia
Holmes, Peter
Ervas, Alessandro
DE ANGELI, Stefano 
Santamaria, Ulderico 
Issue Date: 2016
This paper reports on the investigation of a number of metal musical instruments, from the Roman period, by combining non-invasive portable X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy and technical analysis. The study is part of the European project EMAP (European Music Archaeology Project, 2013-2018) which aims to highlight Europe's ancient cultural roots from variety of perspectives, including: musical, scientific and "sensorial". In particular, the analysis and technical details of some Roman cornua stored in the Naples museum will be presented. The cornua under investigation came originally from excavations carried out in Pompeii. The characterization of the metal alloy and of the various soldering materials was performed utilising X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy in a totally non-invasive mode by means of portable no-contact equipment. This choice of technique resulted from the impossibility of transporting the instruments out of the museum for further investigation and also of taking samples for laboratory analysis. The alloys utilised in the cornua from Pompeii are made up of copper and tin, with a tin content of around 1%. Solders are made from copper, lead and zinc (about 4-5%). Mouthpiece, receivers when present, exhibited high counts of zinc. The use of a brass alloy for solders identifies a sophisticated technological ability which was employed when creating the musical instruments
ISSN: 2067-533X
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Appears in Collections:A1. Articolo in rivista

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