Jewelery of a young Egyptian girl: Middle kingdom goldwork from Haraga tomb 72.
Lore Troalen, Isabel Tissot, Margaret Maitland and Maria Filomena Guerra.
Historical Metallurgy Journal Volume 49, Issue 2
Excavation of an intact burial at Haraga, Egypt (12th Dynasty) revealed the unusual presence of several gold catfish and tilapia pendants and gold bead necklaces, now in the collection of National Museums Scotland (NMS). Analysis of the pendants and gold beads by XRF and PIXE/PIGE has shown that the majority were made from silver-rich electrum with quantities of silver between 20wt% and 40wt%. Only the most skilfully crafted fish pendant was made with a high-purity gold alloy containing less than 7wt% silver. The gold beads, which were made by rolling foils of different thicknesses on a lime plaster core, are highly degraded. FEG-SEM observation of one corroded fragment revealed a porous texture of the surface corresponding to a failed annealing that caused an increase of the corrosion rate. The surface of the beads has a red coloration caused by the formation of gold-silver-sulphur compounds, characteristic of atmospheric corrosion of gold-based alloys.