Modern analytical techniques, such as secondary ion mass spectrometry, inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy, in-situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction and Raman microscopy, alongside scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray analysis and powder X-ray diffraction, were used to investigate bronze fragments from an ancient Chinese bronze vessel (also known as a hu) in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. Previous compositional results obtained by R. J. Gettens in 1951, using traditional optical metallography and powder X-ray diffraction, were compared with the present analysis. The investigation provided a complete description of the composition of the ancient metal alloy and spatially resolved identification of the major and minor corrosion products. Furthermore, the study also provided the opportunity for a better understanding of the possibilities and limitations of the various instrumental techniques available to the analyst for the study of ancient bronzes.
- Chinese Bronzes
- Raman Microscopy
- Synchrotron Radiation (Sr)-Xrd
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