Underwater archaeologists have recovered 47 lumps of orichalcum – an alloy primarily consisting of copper, zinc and small percentages of nickel, lead, iron. The cargo was recovered off the coast of Gela in southern Sicily.
Chemical analysis a nail found in a remote grave of a member of the ill-fated expedition of Sir John Franklin, John Hartnell, found on Beechey Island, revealed zinc deficiency in the body of the deceased.
Scientists are trying to recognise the chemical elements used in painting of Greek vessels through X-ray imaging. The spots marked in blacks, reds and whites can be identified as particular elements, such as iron, potassium, calcium and zinc.