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Archaeology Datasheet 201

Metals and their properties

Metals are crystalline materials that are good conductors of both electricity and heat; they are usually malleable, ductile and shiny. They are commonly divided into ferrous and non-ferrous metals; the former comprises iron and its alloys, and the latter includes all other metals. Non-ferrous metals are often divided into precious metals (gold, silver and their alloys) and base metals (all other metals). The range of properties displayed by metals has allowed their use in many applications, from currency and jewellery through tools and weapons to structural metal for buildings.

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