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Compositional Analysis of Roman and Late Medieval Terracotta Figurines found in Worms (antique Borbetomagus)

Author(s): Detlef Wilke ; Tuende Kaszab-Olschewski ; Gerald Grimm

Year: 2017

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Summary

Nondestructive XRF was used to provenance Roman and 15th century molded figurines found in Worms, Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany). Three Roman kiln areas with waster material of various kinds of cooking and dining pottery were detected, but no coroplastics. Two kiln areas provided sherds with a highly uniform paste pattern identical to Roman amphora and roof tiles formerly analyzed by destructive WD-XRF, and supposed to be produced in Borbetomagus. A third kiln additionally contained utilitarian pottery fragments of a distinct pattern, which could be identified with pottery and clays from Urmitz-Weissenthurm located some 130 km down the Rhine River, probably a domestic fill when the third workshop was shut down. Only one out of 14 Roman figurines exhibits the local paste pattern of the utilitarian pottery. It is an orange-fired single, whereas the other figurines were molded with a whitish paste similar in pattern with pottery from Speicher, near Trier (Augusta Treverorum), and from Koeln (Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium). The late medieval molded figurines are production wasters of a workshop located in the center of Worms. The source of the special white-firing "pipe clay" is unknown, but compositionally similar to clayey kaolinitic sands in Tertiary lacustrine deposits in the nearby Palatinate Forest.


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Compositional Analysis of Roman and Late Medieval Terracotta Figurines found in Worms (antique Borbetomagus). Detlef Wilke, Tuende Kaszab-Olschewski, Gerald Grimm. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429056)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15023

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America