Artefacts in the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien

Following project focused on the detailed study of one of the museum collections. In this case, it were the artefacts from the collection of Art Historical Museum in Vienna (Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, further KHM). Fiften objects were analysed in the Scientific Laboratory of the KHM by Katharina Uhlir and Maria Jentsch.

The chemical composition of artefacts was established with the help of the method of X-ray flourescence. Objects from Early Dynastic period, Old Kingdom, First Intermediate period, Middle Kingdom, and Second Intermediate period were included. Most of them were discovered at the excavations of Egyptologist Hermann Junker.

Rather surprisingly, we have found out that objects were made either from copper with impurities or arsenical copper. The final article, summing up the project results, is accepted this year for publication in the journal Ägypten und Levante / Egypt and Levant.

Project details

Title: project „Cultural techniques: materiality, mediality and imagination“, subproject “Early copper metalurgy in Ancient Egypt – a case study of the material from Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien”

Funding: Charles University in Prague from the Specific university research in 2015 and 2016

Duration: 2015–2016