Portable XRF Analysis of the Pigments of Majiayao Pottery from Dayatou, NW China

Author(s): Eric Carlucci; Jianfeng Cui; Ling-Yu Hung

Year: 2017


The site of Dayatou is located on a terrace bluff in the Tao River Valley in Gansu province, Northwest China.In 2015, the Tao River Archaeological Project team conducted systematic collection across the surface of the bluff and recovered thousands of Majiayao culture potsherds. To identify the technology and provenances of these potsherds, in the 2016 field season we used a portable XRF in a handheld configuration to analyze the chemical elements of the black paint decorated on 124 selected samples. For comparison, we also used the same method to analyze the paste composition of each sample. All the samples had enough clear painted and unpainted spots for analysis. These samples were selected from random bags of sherds collected from areas across the site. Different from previous studies, our case study provides a micro perspective on the technology and organization of pottery production at a single settlement. Portable XRF analysis proves to be an effective source for this research because of the efficient and accurate chemical identification. The data we have collected provide a general overview of the site, and will lend to future research on ceramics at the site of Dayatou, and for the Majiayao as a whole.

Cite this Record

Portable XRF Analysis of the Pigments of Majiayao Pottery from Dayatou, NW China. Eric Carlucci, Jianfeng Cui, Ling-Yu Hung. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430958)

Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14605