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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter 2020

14. Archaeometry of ceramic materials

From the book Chemical Analysis in Cultural Heritage

  • Giacomo Eramo and Annarosa Mangone


Ceramics are among the most studied findings, one of the best markers for providing technological and functional information in archaeological contexts. Their chemical-mineralogical characterization allows to answer a large number of historical- archaeological questions about classification, provenance, production technologies, trade routes, economic exchange, etc. The best methodological approach not only integrates morphological-stylistic studies to the archaeometric ones, but also includes a synergic instrumental strategy aimed both to take advantage of each different analytical technique to the best of its potentiality and to over step the problems connected to the preciousness and uniqueness of the objects. As far as the mineralogical and petrographical composition of preindustrial ceramics is concerned, its determination is crucial to answer provenance and technological issues like raw materials procurement and the production processes in this respect, equivalent firing temperature, redox atmosphere during firing are important factors that help in understanding the relevant mineralogical and micro-structural transformations. In this paper, we illustrate how an integrated approach of analytical techniques, tested on different classes of ceramics - pottery with spathic calcite, Apulian red figure pottery and technical ceramics - can provide answers to archaeological questions.

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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