Early vitrification stages identified in prehistoric earthenware ceramics from northern Chile via SEM

Catherine Bland, Amy Roberts, Rachel Popelka-Filcoff, Calogero Santoro

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) has been used to investigate ceramic vitrification stages since the 1970s, however its application has been primarily restricted to stoneware and high-fired ceramics. The purpose of this study was to determine whether stages of vitrification could also be identified in prehistoric low-fired archaeological earthenware ceramics via SEM using northern Chilen samples covering a period c. 2000 to 500 years BP as a case study. This was achieved by visually comparing microstructural changes between original and re-fired ceramic sherds. The microstructural changes identified in this study indicate that the potters who made these vessels achieved early stages of vitrification. This result demonstrates that SEM is a useful technique to investigate the development of firing technology in earthenware manufacture.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)309-315
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
    Volume16
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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