Compositional analyses of pre- and proto-historic precious metal objects from National Romanian History Museum: alluvial, primary and refined gold, electrum, auriferous silver

Bogdan Constantinescu1,
Gheorghe Niculescu2
Migdonia Georgescu2
Ernest Oberländer-Târnoveanu3
Catălina Chiojdeanu2
1National Institute of Nuclear Physics and Engineering "Horia Hulubei" - Bucharest-Măgurele, România
2National Laboratory for Researches in Conservation and Restoration of Movable National Cultural Heritage, România
3Romanian National History Museum, Bucharest, România

100 gold objects from the collections of Romanian National History Museum were analysed using a portable Rh-tube-based XRF spectrometer. The objects (idols, phalerae, bracelets, neck rings, various rings, daggers) belong to Moigrad, Ostrovu Mare, Balaci, Smig, Turnu Magurele, Persinari, Macin hoards. A clasification in relation with gold origin is presented: alluvial (placers) gold (Moigrad, Cauas, a big part of Turnu Magurele), alluvial mixed with easy-accessible primary gold (Ostrovu Mare, Smig, a small part from Turnu Magurele), refined gold (only two Gumelnitza-type objects), electrum - natural or intentional Ag-Au-Cu alloy (Persinari, Macin, Tufa, Calarasi umbo disc - central part) and auriferous silver (small axes from Persinari hoard, Calarasi umbo disc - peripheric part). The composition of the famous nine Dacian gold bracelets recently recuperated is also discussed. A comparison with similar objects from Carpathian-Danubian region, especially, and South-Eastern Europe, generally, is finally presented.