Chemical and Microscopic Analyses of The Afghan Turkmen Ersari Tribe Headdress

Pages 135-154
DOI 10.37520/anpm.2020.011
Keywords headdress, metal ornaments, Turkmens, Ersari, Afghanistan, chemical analysis, microscopic analysis
Type of Article Research report
Annals of the Náprstek Museum | 2020/41/2

In accordance with the research plan of the Material Culture Unit within the framework of the project entitled ‘Sinophone Borderlands – Interaction at the Edge’, a study of the chemical composition and surface features of metal parts of the Afghan Ersari Tribe headdress was performed. The headdress consists of a textile base and ornamental metal decoration called gupba and a metal diadem called sünsüle. The obtained results of the analyses, using a scanning electron microscopy (SEM) equipped with an energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) and an X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry, uncovered the microscopic features and composition of the metal pieces of the gupba and sünsüle. The main goal of the work was to reveal the chemical compositions of the metal parts in order to determine which metals and procedures were used over the course of their production and to support the current assumptions based on visual appraisals of objects of this type. These results undoubtedly broaden our view of the Turkmen culture in Afghanistan and help us form a database of knowledge and facts about artefacts from the Sinophone borderlands.

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