Chemical Composition: XRF data from Artax 1
Alloy: Leaded Brass
Alloying Elements: copper, lead, zinc
Other Elements: tin, iron, silver, arsenic
Comments: The object has a lead-tin alloy inlay.
K. Eremin, January 2014
Technical Observations: It has a pale, olive green patina overall. A few edges are worn through to brown oxidized metal. The scratches on the reverse have in part been created post-excavation. The extreme thinness of the metal in the bifurcated area and the losses at one corner resulting from mineralization suggest that the surface of the strap end was heavily cleaned to remove corrosion accretions.
The strap end was cast in one piece. The slight bend in the upper bifurcated portion, where it would have attached to a strap, is original. It is not clear how much of the decorative work was done before casting and how much was done in the metal. The fish-scale pattern on the bottom third of the object seems to have been created using a crescent-shaped punch and was enhanced during post-excavation cleaning. The lines of the checker pattern and dots at the center of each lozenge are filled with a whitish-gray inlay material made of lead and tin; the color is perhaps due to corrosion.
Francesca G. Bewer (submitted 2012)