Archaeometric analyses on conical and decorated cap helmets from the Bronze Age are presented. The helmets are dated to the 14–12th century BC according to associated finds in hoards. Alloy composition, material structure and manufacturing processes are determined and shed light on the earliest development of weaponry production in Central and Eastern Europe. Analyses were carried out using light and dark field microscopy, SEM–EDXS, PIXE, TOF-ND and PGAA. The results allowed reconstructing the manufacturing process, the differences between the cap of the helmets and their knobs (i.e. alloy composition) and the joining technique of the two parts.

This paper was originally published in Materials Characterization 79, 22-36

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