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A physicochemical study of Medieval and Post-Medieval ceramics from the Aegean

Archaeometric analysis of glazed pottery assemblages from the Early Byzantine to the Early Modern periods in the Aegean.

A. Panagopoulou
09 May 2023
The publication in Open Access

The archaeological excavations carried out in Greece at Chalcis, the Athenian Agora and the Castle of Mytilene in Lesvos have resulted in the accumulation of a large collection of Medieval and Post-Medieval glazed pottery vessels and sherds that is unparalleled in the Aegean region and that is a perfect basis for archaeometrical research⁠. This thesis’ objective is to analyse 245 ceramic samples from these three excavated sites in Greece with the most advanced technological methods applying an integrated analytical methodology that took into account compositional data of ceramic body, slip, glaze and pigments⁠. This study attempts to investigate both the provenance as well as the glazed pottery techniques and their development through time⁠. The chosen ceramic samples were examined using a number of archaeometrical techniques such as Optical Microscopy (OM), X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy (pXRF, WDXRF), Petrographic analysis, X-Ray Diffraction Spectroscopy (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM-EDS) and Raman Spectroscopy⁠. These archaeological sites distinguish from others in the (eastern) Mediterranean where glazed pottery manufacture has been confirmed⁠. The glazed pottery assemblages in these cities clearly demonstrate a changing industry as they date from the Early Byzantine to the Early Modern periods⁠.

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