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Thereafter, the radioactivity of the Pb-210 halves every 22.3 years.

The level of radioactivity in newly produced metal varies widely, but is in general very small.

Synthetically produced malachite patina is composed essentially of fine crystals and has a much lighter colour.

Another significant characteristic of the corrosion is the presence of copper compounds which have formed on the gold plate.

There is rarely a single method of testing which on its own would tell whether an archaeological find of unknown provenance is 'genuine' or 'fake'.

Most scientific methods of examining and dating objects can in fact be fooled by determined forgers, despite the widespread belief to the contrary.

But the process is fairly laborious and still does not produce a patina with the compact crystalline character and intense green colour found on the disc.

On the gold plate, the earth could only be removed by chemical means, taking the malachite corrosion with it.The same difficulties are raised by the bronze, especially as it has a considerable arsenic content.These days it is exceptionally difficult to acquire arsenic on the open market, and working with this highly poisonous semi-metal is particularly dangerous.The solid, intense green corrosion on the bronze disc was analysed using x-ray diffraction, and was identified as malachite (basic copper carbonate) and cassiterite (a tin oxide).Products of corrosion that occur when an artificial patina is attempted (e.g.

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