Archaeologist Liesel Gentelli has borrowed techniques used by the police gold stealing squad to identify Spanish silver coins from old ship wrecks.
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The WA Museum allowed her to study deformed lumps of silver from six ships wrecked off the west coast before the days of the Swan River Colony.
Ms Gentelli identified silver dollars from far-flung mints in Mexico, Peru, Spain and the Netherlands from the time when Spanish silver was the world currency.
She switched majors from archaeology to forensics to pursue this major project for her PhD studies.
This story first appeared in Science Network WA on 5 October 2014. The Kalgoorlie Miner republished it on 8 November 2014.
Science Network WA [read this story]
A double ikat weaver at her loom
TEXT AND PICTURES BY GEOFF VIVIAN
Tenganan in southeast Bali is one of the villages that preserves a pre-Hindu “Bali Aga” culture that may be thousands of years old.
These are Indonesia’s rarest textiles, produced in just one Bali village.
A feature of this is the double-ikat weaving, requiring warp and weft threads to be meticulously tie died before the weaver puts them together.
Tenganan is the only place in Indonesia that still produces double ikat, and in this story I explain how you can get to Tenganan and visit a double ikat weaver.
inBali [read this story]
Gold refineries may soon be able to quit using toxic cyanide to process ore.
This chemical is dangerous to work with and without careful disposal, bad for the environment.
Instead, a scientists says they can try an organic chemical that is one of life’s “building blocks” – the amino acid glycine.
It is cheaper than cyanide and can be re-used.
Glycine can also be used to extract copper.
First published in Science Network WA [read this story]. Republished in The Kalgoorlie Miner on 1 November 2014.