Metallurgical investigation on fourth century BCE silver jewellery of two hoards from Samaria

D. Ashkenazi, H. Gitler, Adin Stern, O. Tal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


A fourth century BCE silver jewellery collection, which is part of two hoards of Samarian coins (the Samaria and Nablus Hoards), was studied by non-destructive analyses. The collection, which consists of pendants, rings, beads and earrings, had been examined by visual testing, multi-focal microscopy and SEM-EDS analysis. In order to enhance our knowledge of past technologies of silver jewellery production, we developed a metallurgical methodology based on the chemical composition of the joints and bulk. The results show that all artefacts are made of silver containing a small percentage of copper. Higher copper concentrations were measured in the joining regions. Our research indicates that the manufacturing of the jewellery from both hoards involved similar techniques, including casting, cutting, hammering, bending, granulating and joining methods, indicating that the artefacts were made by trained silversmiths. Although the burial date of the Samaria Hoard - 352 BCE - is some 21 years earlier than that of the Nablus Hoard - circa 331 BCE, a noted continuity in the local production technology is apparent in the analysed items. This information provides better understanding of the technological abilities in the late Persianperiod province of Samaria and bears implications on the local silver coins produced in the region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number40659
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 18 Jan 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Metallurgical investigation on fourth century BCE silver jewellery of two hoards from Samaria'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this