Scanning RBS-PIXE study of ancient artifacts from South America using a microbeam

José-Luis Ruvalcaba-Sil, Guy Demortier

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Pre-Hispanic goldsmiths developed original techniques to manufacture and to gild ornaments and artifacts. Gold metallurgy in ancient America was mainly a surface technology. Surface studies of artifacts from various regions of pre-Hispanic South America were carried out using a 2 MeV proton microbeam (10 μm diameter). Several regions of the artifacts were scanned: RBS and PIXE were used simultaneously to determine the elemental composition and to characterize the homogeneity in depth and at the surface. Complementary information is provided from previous analyses using a macrobeam. Outstanding aspects about the metallurgical processes involved in the gilding of the artifacts have been established.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)297-302
    Number of pages6
    JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
    Issue number1-4
    Publication statusPublished - 1997


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