A combined PIXE and XPS analysis has been performed on a few Roman coins of
the republican and imperial age. The purpose was to investigate via XPS th
e nature and extent of patina in order to be capable of extracting PIXE dat
a relative to the coins bulk. The inclusion of elements from the surface la
yer, altered by oxidation and inclusion, is a known source of uncertainty i
n PIXE analyses of coins, performed to assess the composition and the prove
nance. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.