Identifying old iron

Hi all:
Modern steels and irons are made to close tolerances for impurities, etc. If
an object that had rusted is found in a trench can it be dated to an era on
the basis of crystalography or trace elements? An object found near Paris
could be 18th century, medieval, Viking, Roman, or earlier. What trace
metals and in what quantity would a person look for? What grain type or
sizes? Can anyone suggest a good reference on this subject?
Reply to
KC Armstrong
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Search google for archaeometallurgy. There is a archaeometallurgy laboratory at Lehigh university,
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the paper by Alan W. Pense, "Iron through the ages"
Also try:
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Pittsburgh Pete
Reply to
Pittsburgh Pete

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