The origin and chronology of medieval silver coins based on the analysis of chemical composition

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Abstract

Medieval Central Europe coins - the Saxon coins, also called as the Otto and Adelheid denarii, as well as the Polish ones, the Władysław Herman and Bolesław Śmiały coins - were examined to determine their provenance and dating. Their attribution and chronology often constitute a serious problem for historians and numismatists. For hundreds of years, coins were in uncontrolled conditions and in variable environment. Destructed and inhomogeneous surface were the effect of corrosion processes. Electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS)), X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis (energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) and total reflection X-ray fluorescence (TXRF)), and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) were applied. The results of these investigations are significant for our knowledge of the history of Central European coinage, especially of Polish coinage

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