A microstructural study of gold treasure from Monte Alban's tomb 7

G. Alejandra Camacho-Bragado, Mayahuel Ortega-Aviles, Manuel A. Velasco, Miguel José-Yacaman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This article presents a microstructural study of a set of samples from the treasure of tomb 7 of Monte Alban, Oaxaca, in southeast Mexico. The purpose of this work was to elucidate the manufacturing methods used by the pre-Columbian artisans of the Oaxaca valley. An additional goal was to establish a point of comparison between Mesoamerican cultures and cultures in some other regions of the Americas. Ten gilt samples were analyzed corresponding to the post-classic period (700-1300 A.D). The microstructure and elemental composition of the samples were determined using optical, scanning, and transmission-electron microscopies and electron-energy-dispersive spectroscopy. The samples were classified by the method of manufacture. A predominant use of gold alloys was found, rather than the gilt copper commonly used by some cultures in South America.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-24
Number of pages6
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering


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