Elemental Analysis of Selected Cast Artifacts Produced by Twenty-first Century Benin City Blacksmiths
Kalilu, Rasaq Olatunde Rom
Emeriewen, Kingsley Osevwiyo
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The study is an elemental analysis of some artefacts produced by blacksmiths in Benin City. It was conducted with a view to determining the elemental characterization and suitability of the materials employed in artefacts’ casting by Benin blacksmiths in the 21st century. Ion Beam Accelerator techniques of Proton induced X-ray Emission spectroscopy (PIXE), Rutherford Backscattering spectrometry (RBS) and Proton induced Gamma-Ray Emission spectroscopy (PIGE) were employed in the analysis of five samples that derived through the purposive sampling technique. The result of the study revealed an inhomogeneous spectrum of major, minor and trace elements in the items studied. Specifically, zinc (Zn) was a major element in four of the items sampled and copper (Cu), a major element in only one item. In effect, four of the items sampled are Zn-alloys while the fifth is a Cu-alloy with an unfamiliar composition. What can be deduced from the finding is that the use of standard materials by blacksmiths in Benin City is still a challenge.