Chemical Composition: XRF data from Artax 1
Alloying Elements: copper, tin
Other Elements: lead, iron, antimony, arsenic
K. Eremin, January 2014
Technical Observations: The surface of the plaque is a smooth and shiny, dark brownish black, and it is well preserved. There are a few small corrosion pustules and some visible dendritic structures on the front. The back is also well preserved but is still covered with some tan burial accretions. The side edges are jagged from the breaks, and some small losses have occurred on the top edge as well. A crack down the middle of the piece was repaired with fiberglass and perhaps resin, and there is a small rectangular piece of copper sheet on the bottom of the repair. Remains of a red paint have built up along a portion of the edges of the back.
This object is a fragment of a longer strip of metal that was formed from a very thin, hammered sheet of bronze. The fine sequential tool marks of a chisel or graver that was used to define the lines of the lion can be seen in a few places. The row of evenly spaced raised dots along the top and bottom of the strip was created using a pointed punch from the back. The distortion of the metal caused by the tooling—on both the front and the back of the plaque—is typical of repoussé work.
Francesca G. Bewer (submitted 2012)