by Cakaj, O., Civici, N., Schmidt, G. and Qoku, E.
In this paper we studied different types of copper / copper alloy objects (luxury, tools and exchange objects) excavated in Durrës (ancient city of Epidamnos, Dyrrah) and Ploçë (near Vlora, Ploçë ancient city of Amantia), in Albania. Seven coins and four nails (V-VI A.D.) were found in a macellum monument in the centre of Durrës among ceramics and other metallic objects, while in Amantia a mirror (III B.C.) fragment was one of the findings in a Necropolis tomb along with other luxury objects. The archaeologists of the Centre of Albanological Studies in Tirana and the Archaeological Museum Durrës gave us the possibility to sample these objects, since they were already damaged. The elements composition of the coins, nails and mirror was determined with μ – X ray fluorescence (μ-XRF); the microstructure inclusions/precipitations were studied with scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) and the corrosion products along with the microstructure elements were investigated with optical microscopy (OM), X ray diffraction (XRD) and Vickers microhardness tester. All the objects of this study had a variety of compositions from pure Cu to Cu-Sn, Cu-Pb, Cu-Fe, Cu-Sn-Pb alloys. Most of the coins might have been annealed and then cold worked; unlike the mirror, one coin and all of the nails, the final production step of which might have been casting. The corrosion products detected were quartz, cuprite, cassiterite, cerussite, atacamite/paratacamite, malachite, albite, nantokite, calcite and anorthite, mostly distinguishable also with polarized light. Chemical content such as Pb, S, Sb, As, Si, Fe, Zn, Ag, Bi, Ni might be connected with the sulphite copper mineral preceding the alloys and the fluxes used during production.