A novel procedure using plasma sputtering in an electron-cyclotron-resonance device has been applied to clean archeological MOCHE artefacts, unearthed at the Royal Tombs of Sipán. After successful cleaning, the pieces were analysed by a variety of complementary techniques, namely proton-induced x-ray emission, Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, and inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy. With these techniques, it has been possible to not only determine the profiles of the gold and silver surface layers, but also to detect elements that may be relevant to explain the gilding techniques skillfully developed by the metal smiths of the MOCHE culture.
Saettone, E. A. O., Da Matta, J. A. S., Alva, W., Chubaci, J. F. O., Fantini, M. C. A., Galvão, R. M. O., Kiyohara, P., & Tabacniks, M. H. (2003). Plasma cleaning and analysis of archeological artefacts from Sipán. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 842-848. https://doi.org/10.1088/0022-3727/36/7/313