Non-destructive microstructural characterization of a bronze boat model from Vetulonia

  • Antonio Brunetti
  • Francesco Grazzi
  • Antonella Scherillo
  • Marco E. Minoja
  • Gianfranca Salis
  • Sergio Orrù
  • Anna Depalmas
Original Paper


In this paper, we present the results of the archaeometric analysis performed on a nuragic bronze statuette, representing a boat model decorated with zoomorphic figurines, made in Sardinia during the early Iron Age. The bronze boat model was found in the Etruscan tomb of the Duce located in Vetulonia (Italy) and dated no later than the second half of the seventh century bc. The Vetulonia boat model represents an extraordinary example of this type of objects, exhibiting a high level of complexity from the manufacturing point of view and an unusual choice of the subjects represented by the figurines. The study was performed by means of Time of Flight Neutron Diffraction, a non-destructive method able to give us quantitative information on phase composition and microstructure.


Bronze Age sculpture Non-destructuve analysis Neutron diffraction Bronze casting 



The cooperation Agreement no. 06/20018 between CNR and STFC, concerning collaboration in scientific research at the spallation neutron source ISIS (UK), is gratefully acknowledged.

We are grateful to the Superintendent for the Archeology of Tuscany Andrea Pessina, for facilitating the analyses on the navicella.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio Brunetti
    • 1
  • Francesco Grazzi
    • 2
  • Antonella Scherillo
    • 3
  • Marco E. Minoja
    • 4
  • Gianfranca Salis
    • 4
  • Sergio Orrù
    • 4
  • Anna Depalmas
    • 5
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Chimica e FarmaciaUniversità di SassariSassariItaly
  2. 2.Consiglio Nazionale delle RicercheIstituto di Fisica ApplicataSesto Fiorentino (FI)Italy
  3. 3.Science and Technology Facility CouncilISIS Neutron SourceDidcotUK
  4. 4.Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici per le province di Cagliari e OristanoCagliariItaly
  5. 5.Dipartimento di Scienze Umanistiche e SocialiUniversità di SassariSassariItaly

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