by Guy Demortier
Accelerator based analytical tools have been used for quantitative analysis of gold artefacts.
Proton, deuteron and alpha particle energies are limited to avoid any residual activity after the irradiation of
the precious items. Surface depletion gilding and soldering procedures used in ancient goldsmith’s technologies
are firstly identified and then reproduced in laboratory. A selection of 9 representative artefacts belonging
to pre-Hispanic American, Byzantine and Roman Cultures are selected to illustrate human skill in ancient
times. The meaning of santerna or chrysocolla reported in the Plini’s Natural Histrory is discussed.