Petrography and chemistry live together in perfect harmony

Author(s): Anno Hein; Vassilis Kilikoglou

Year: 2015


Historically, pottery provenance studies in the Aegean were conducted by the application of chemical techniques for element determination. The underlying principle was that ceramics made with the same clay paste should exhibit lower chemical variability than those with different pastes. Although this principle has not changed over the years, pottery studies have undergone serious analytical and most importantly, methodological developments.

The main reason for the methodological developments was the systematic introduction of petrography, which related pottery objects to their geological environments and the technology of manufacture. This had a positive effect on the use and interpretation of elemental analysis data, especially in the way that variability was explained.

Here complex chemical data sets of Mycenaean pottery are interpreted with the integration of petrography. These represent areas with long potting traditions, as well as consumption sites. We suggest that maximum information can be extracted by the stepwise isolation of petrographic groups and consequent study of their chemical variability. This amplifies the advantage of the high sensitivity of chemistry, by considering the petrographic variation of specific ceramic fabrics. Incidental chemical similarities can be identified and accordingly treated in the statistical evaluation as well as increased chemical variability due to variations fabrics.

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Cite this Record

Petrography and chemistry live together in perfect harmony. Vassilis Kilikoglou, Anno Hein. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397118)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;