Published August 19, 2021 | Version v1
Journal article Open

Monte Carlo Simulations of ED-XRF Spectra as an Authentication Tool for Nuragic Bronzes

  • 1. Dipartimento di Storia, Scienze dell'Uomo e della Formazione, Università di Sassari, 07100 Sassari, Italy
  • 2. Dipartimento di Chimica e Farmacia, Università di Sassari, 07100 Sassari, Italy
  • 3. Dipartimento di Scienze di Base e Applicate per L'ingegneria, Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza", 00161 Rome, Italy


The high artistic and cultural relevance of particular objects, in this case from the Nuragic civilization, have stimulated the growth of a forgery industry, replicating small bronze boats (navicelle), statues (bronzetti), and other objects. It is often the case where the forgeries are of such quality that it becomes difficult to distinguish them from authentic artifacts without a proper chemical analysis. In this research, a Monte Carlo simulation algorithm for X-ray interactions with matter is used to obtain the chemical composition from the bulk of each object from a set of five. The method employed has the advantage of being completely nondestructive and relatively fast. The objects’ chemical composition and morphology were compared with the data available from authentic artifacts so their authenticity could be inferred. Four of the five objects are likely to be authentic, where two of them could be associated with a Sardinian origin.


Besides the referenced funding, this research has also received funding from FAR 2019, FAR 2020, and the FSC 2014–2020 project by Regione Autonoma della Sardegna, "Sviluppo di una metodologia spettroscopica integrata e innovativa per la caratterizzazione di bronzi antichi" (RASSR79938, CUP J81G17000140002).


Nocco, C. et al. 2021b.pdf

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ED-ARCHMAT – European Doctorate in ARchaeological and Cultural Heritage MATerials science 766311
European Commission