Analyzing Color in Historic Refined Earthenwares Using Spectrophotometry

Author(s): John Chenoweth; Alan Farahani

Year: 2013


This project evaluates three of the most well-known ceramic types in historical archaeology: the non-vitreous, white-bodied earthenwares usually distinguished primarily by color and commonly known as creamware, pearlware, and whiteware. Almost ubiquitous on sites connected to worldwide trade routes from the mid-eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries, these three wares are some of the most useful, most discussed, and possibly some of the most controversial in archaeological analysis.  Using a Konica Minolta CM-700d spectrophotometer, this project collected replicable, highly precise color observations on some 700 sherds from the collections of Independence National Historic Park with the aim of understanding the nature of these groups, the overlap between the instrument's measurements and observers' judgments, and the role of illuminants and the phenomenon of "metamerism" in the identification process.

Cite this Record

Analyzing Color in Historic Refined Earthenwares Using Spectrophotometry. John Chenoweth, Alan Farahani. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428498)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 344