Middle Bronze Age II Battleaxes from Rishon LeZion, Israel: Archaeology and Metallurgy

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Abstract

Thirteen bronze battleaxes from Middle Bronze Age II graves at Rishon LeZion, Israel were analysed by ED XRF at multiple surface locations in order to determine their metallurgical composition. Six of these were further subjected to neutron diffraction using an ENGIN-X diffractometer in order to determine bulk phase composition. The results indicate that the previously established geographical and chronological variability in Sn–Cu (with occasional Pb) and As–Cu alloys found using the former method may be an artefact of preservation and conservation. In addition, the varying homogeneity determined by the latter reflects special treatment for improving on the metal cast.

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