The Belgammel Ram, a Hellenistic-Roman Bronze Proembolion Found off the Coast of Libya: test analysis of function, date and metallurgy, with a digital reference archive



The Belgammel Ram was found off the coast of Libya in 1964, and examined during 2008–9. The following techniques were used: surface non-contact digitizing using a laser scanner, reflectance transformation imaging using polynomial texture mapping and hemi-spherical harmonics, digital photogrammetry with dense surface modelling, structured light optical scanning, and X-ray fluorescence analysis. For internal structure the ram was examined by X-radiography and 3-D X-ray tomography. Metallurgical composition was studied by micro-drilling and subjecting the samples to scanning electron microscope X-ray micro-analysis, micro X-ray fluorescence and X-ray backscatter. The lead isotope composition was analysed.

The alloy has average percentage composition Cu = 86.9, Sn = 6.3, Pb = 6.6, and Zn = < 0.10. The Belgammel Ram is probably a Hellenistic-Roman proembolion from a small military vessel or tesseraria. The archived data are at the Faculty of Engineering and Environment, Engineering Sciences, Material Data Centre, University of Southampton (