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  • 1 C. N. R. S. CEN/Saclay Laboratoire d'Analyse par Activation, Pierre Süe 91191 Gif sur Yvette (France)
  • 2 Centre d'Etudes de Chimie Metallurgique 15, rue Georges Urbain 94400 Vitry sur Seine (France)
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Abstract  

Neutron activation, applied to silver and copper based coinage, leads to a measure of the mean concentrations of major and 12 trace elements, even if their distribution is heterogeneous. The drawbacks of this activation method applied to such a matrix are shielding effects and high radioactivity of major elements. Both effects were avoided by accurately calculating the correction coefficients and by choosing the optimal working conditions. Analytical results obtained lead to a better knowledge of the chronology and origin of Armorican protohistorical coinage.