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Results of the Chemical Composition Analysis of Metal Mirrors of the Golden Horde Period Excavated in Mangup

Journal: Povolzhskaya Arkheologiya (The Volga River Region Archaeology) (Vol.4, No. 42)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 61-73

Keywords : archaeology; south-western Crimea; Mangup; Golden Horde period; mirrors; X-ray fluorescence analysis;

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The collection of metal mirrors of the Golden Horde period of the Mangup hillfort, situated in the south-western part of the Crimea, includes 19 items. The chemical composition of 17 mirrors was studied using an M1 Mistral (Bruker) X-ray fluorescence spectrometer. The measurements were carried out at three points on the front and back sides of the mirrors. Averages were calculated for each side. According to the results of the analysis, the mirrors are made of pewter bronze with additives of lead. The content of pewter in the alloy of mirrors from Mangup ranged from 10 to 38%. The share of lead was 1-17%. Analysis of dopants made it possible to distinguish three types of alloys. 11 mirrors are made of pewter-lead bronze (Cu + Sn + Pb), 4 mirrors are made of pewter-lead-antimony bronze (Cu + Sn + Pb + Sb), 1 mirror is made of tin-lead-zinc bronze (Cu + Sn + Pb + Zn). The differences between the identified types of alloys probably reflect formula variations of the “mirror” alloy composition within the unified craft tradition. The comparison of the chemical composition of the studied mirrors with the items from other regions gave the following results. The closest analogies to mirrors from Mangup were found on the territory of the Volga and Don rivers regions. Their alloy contains similar proportions of the main components. The only difference is the set of ore impurities. The results of the analysis of the chemical composition suggest the producing of Mangup mirrors in the Volga region. The morphological and stylistic similarities of mirrors from both regions can be considered as an additional argument in favor of this thesis.

Last modified: 2023-01-25 21:38:59