Curly malachite on archaeological bronze

A systematic study of the shape and phenomenological approach of its formation mechanism

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Curly malachite (CM) is found as a green cupric carbonate hydroxide corrosion product on archaeological bronze, mostly on artefacts retrieved from graves. In this paper, a morphological characterization approach is proposed, enabling the investigation of the formation process of CM. It is suggested that curly malachite precipitates from an aqueous solution, for which the surrounding soil conditions provide local triggers. Anthropic activities associated with ritual burials do not significantly affect the growth of CM. It is also confirmed that curly malachite is usually not a pseudomorph of formerly organic material. Although the understanding of the formation process is far from complete, this study has shown that CM is expected to be found more often than is currently recognized, due to its relatively simple formation mechanisms and boundary conditions.