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Keywords:

  • archaeology;
  • collagen;
  • gold;
  • hybrid nanoparticles;
  • ivory

Abstract

A one-step method is reported to synthesize hybrid gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) by reduction of HAuCl4 in acetic solution in the presence of collagen (Col), dicarboxylic acid-terminated polyethylene glycol (PEG), and cetyltetrammonium bromide (CTAB) mixed with hydoxyapatite (HAP) as surfactants. Such formation process of AuNPs was shown to be responsible for purple stains naturally formed on Egyptianizing archaeological gilded ivories from 8th BC Syria. The understanding of this formation mechanism, which most likely involves a step with hybrid AuNPs, allows the establishing of an authenticity marker of ancient gold-plated ivories.