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Keywords:

  • LEAD ISOTOPE ANALYSIS;
  • SILVER;
  • COPPER;
  • MC–ICPMS;
  • TIMS;
  • LASER ABLATION

Lead isotope ratios in archaeological silver and copper were determined by MC–ICPMS using laser ablation and bulk dissolution without lead purification. Laser ablation results on high-lead metals and bulk solution analyses on all samples agree within error of TIMS data, suggesting that problems from isobaric interferences and/or mass bias variations due to the presence of matrix elements are insignificant. Inaccurate laser ablation analyses on low-lead copper reflect erroneous mass bias corrections from use of a non-matrix matched standard. However, in most cases, silver and copper are analysable for lead isotopes by bulk dissolution or laser ablation MC–ICPMS with simplified sample preparation.