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PLATINOID MICROINCLUSIONS OF NATIVE OSMIUM GROUP IN ANCIENT GOLD ARTIFACTS FROM SIBERIA AND URALS AS A SOURCE OF GEOARCHAEOLOGICAL INFORMATION

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Abstract

The analysis of Early Iron Age gold jewelry from Hankarinsky Dol and Inskoy Dol in the Altai, Arzhan II royal mound in Tuva, and Filippovka I and II royal mounds in the Southern Urals, has detected platinoid inclusions similar to those in artifacts from the Near East. Their morphology and composition suggest that gold was mined from placer deposits located near the gold and platinum bearing ultramafi c belts. Microinclusions consist of solid solutions of osmium, iridium, and ruthenium. Their nomenclature was evaluated by the proportion of these components. Triangular plots of microinclusions in artifacts from the Urals reveal four clusters: principal (ruthenium and iridium-osmium) and secondary (osmium-ruthenium and iridium-ruthenium), the latter relating to nanoscale particles surrounding larger ones. Their emergence is due to the impact of gold melt on microinclusions. During melting, heated air in micropores could cause oxidation of osmium with subsequent assimilation of oxidation products by melt. Micropores, 1–0.4 μ in size, were revealed in 5–10 %. This should be taken into account when comparing the composition of microinclusions and minerals from tentative placer sources. Artifacts from Siberia show a mostly ruthenium tendency. Osmium-ruthenium and iridium-osmium trends were also detected, but not the iridium-ruthenium trend, possibly due to small sample size relating to Siberia. The presence of PGE microinclusions in ancient gold artifacts may suggest that these were manufactured locally.

About the Authors

V. V. Zaykov
Institute of Mineralogy, Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Ilmensky Reserve, Miass, 456317, Russia South Ural State University, Pr. Lenina 76, Chelyabinsk, 454080, Russia
Russian Federation


L. T. Yablonsky
Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Dm. Ulyanova 19, Moscow, 117036, Russia
Russian Federation


P. K. Dashkovsky
Altai State University, Lenina 61, Barnaul, 656049, Russia
Russian Federation


V. A. Kotlyarov
Institute of Mineralogy, Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Ilmensky Reserve, Miass, 456317, Russia
Russian Federation


E. V. Zaykova
Institute of Mineralogy, Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Ilmensky Reserve, Miass, 456317, Russia
Russian Federation


A. M. Yuminov
Institute of Mineralogy, Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Ilmensky Reserve, Miass, 456317, Russia South Ural State University, Pr. Lenina 76, Chelyabinsk, 454080, Russia
Russian Federation


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For citation:


Zaykov V.V., Yablonsky L.T., Dashkovsky P.K., Kotlyarov V.A., Zaykova E.V., Yuminov A.M. PLATINOID MICROINCLUSIONS OF NATIVE OSMIUM GROUP IN ANCIENT GOLD ARTIFACTS FROM SIBERIA AND URALS AS A SOURCE OF GEOARCHAEOLOGICAL INFORMATION. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2016;44(1):93-103. (In Russ.)

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