In the present paper, a selection of micrographs showing some typical microstructures and corrosion layers developed in copper and bronze alloys from different archaeological contexts will be discussed. Metallurgic interpretation of the microstructures observed, based in the proper binary equilibrium phase diagrams is presented. Micro-EDXRF and SEM-EDS analysis were carried out to assess the alloy composition and to contribute to the understanding of the corrosion processes occurred during the long periods of burial of the archaeological metals. Examples of surface decuprification, strong intergranular corrosion, cuprite under green corrosion layers and copper redeposition indicate particular corrosion processes. The presence of copper oxides, sulphides inclusions, lead globules and porosities is also documented.