Chemical Composition: XRF data from Artax 1
Alloy: Leaded Bronze
Alloying Elements: copper, tin, lead
Other Elements: iron
K. Eremin, January 2014
Technical Observations: The patina is a uniform light olive green that is coated with a plastic-like transparent material, which seals in some powdery brownish material, perhaps soil. Deep corrosion or cuprite is apparent. The form is worn overall, and the terminal has little definition of the detail around the edges. The back part of the bifurcated end is missing. It broke laterally across the width of the piece; the underside of the extant portion is very porous in appearance.
This strap end was cast in one piece. The decorative patterns on the front were formed with punches and chisels. Whether the fine whitish remains trapped in the recesses of the design are original inlay material or later accretions is not clear. The two rivet holes (c. 2.5 mm in diameter) seem to have been punched with pressure from the front to the back, as is indicated by the slight lip of excess metal that protrudes on the underside of the holes. Several of the pores around the back of the proper left rivet hole seem to be rounded rectangles and could have been created with a punch.
Francesca G. Bewer (submitted 2012)