MC-ICP-MS analyses of tin isotopes in Roman-era bronze coins reveal temporal and spatial variation

N. W. Bower, Craig Campbell Lundstrom, D. B. Hendin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Tin's small mass fractionation and the lack of accepted reference standards have hindered Sn isotopy in archaeology and conservation science. Because of ore field variation and potential fractionation during ore reduction, attempts to determine artefacts’ ore sources have been limited. After norming the fractionations to NIST 3161a (Lot #070330), significant differences in Sn isotope mass fractionation in Judaean bronze ‘Biblical’ coins minted by different rulers during the first centuries bce and ce were discovered. These variations and those in δ 65Cu and 206Pb/204Pb are connected to historical events in the Levant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)891-905
Number of pages15
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2019



  • Judaea
  • Roman Empire
  • ancient bronze
  • mass spectrometry
  • numismatic
  • tin isotopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Archaeology

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