Lead isotope and trace element analysis in the study of over a hundred South Indian metal icons
Publication Type:Journal Article
Source:Archaeometry, Wiley, Volume 41, Number 1, p.91–116 (1999)
Keywords:COMPOSITION, COPPER ALLOY, EARLY HISTORIC, ICONS, INDUCTIVELY COUPLED PLASMA OPTICAL EMISSION SPECTROSCOPY, LEAD, LEAD ISOTOPE ANALYSIS, MEDIEVAL, PROVENANCE, South India, STYLE, TRACE ELEMENT ANALYSIS, ZINC
Technical investigations were made on 130 South Indian statuary images and a few miscellaneous artefacts mostly sampled from the Government Museum, Madras, India, and from the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum, UK. Lead isotope investigations were attempted on 60 of these, and compositional analysis for 18 elements on 115, using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy; thus, for 40 objects both lead isotope and trace element analysis was done. From the isotopic and elemental framework, insights are obtained into some art-historical problems of images and artefacts of the Pre-Pallava, Pallava, Chola (i.e., Vijayalaya Chola), Later Chola (i.e., Chalukya-Chola and Later Pandya), Vijayanagara (and Early Nayaka) and Later Nayaka (and Maratha) dynasties, spanning the Early Christian era to the nineteenth century, along with a few other regional styles. Inferences are also made regarding provenance of the lead and the early use of zinc and brass in the early historic period (c. fourth century BC?fourth century AD).
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