New methodology differentiates the Iberian-Roman ceramic fragments from the Punics

New methodology differentiates the Iberian-Roman ceramic fragments from the Punics

The popularity of the varied varieties of amphorae from a morphological viewpoint is often used as a software to study their origin and, consequently, the commerce routes of antiquity. Nevertheless, this technique doesn’t at all times make it attainable to study the origin, so it has been accomplished with mineralogical and chemical analyses that make it attainable to know key facets just like the manufacturing course of, workshop and uncooked supplies used within the archaeological objects.

New methodology differentiates the Iberian-Roman ceramic fragments from the Punics
Credit score: Asociacion RUVID

Within the evaluation of varied items from Sagunto, a business emporium of antiquity involved with the remainder of the Mediterranean 25 centuries in the past, UV specialists from the Division of Prehistory, Archaeology and Historic Historical past; the Division of Analytical Chemistry; and the Institute of Supplies Science (ICMUV) have mixed numerous varieties of chemical and bodily analyses to ascribe the fragments.

The workforce of specialists analyzed the traits of 20 items of recognized origin (Iberian-Roman, Punic, Adriatic, Campania, Marseille and Tarragona) to seek out out about 27 others of inauspicious ascription. They used a set of analytical methods that require a complete of lower than one gram of pattern, with which the examine has been minimally invasive and has enabled engaged on fragments of very small dimension.

Gianni Gallello, researcher on the Division of Prehistory, Archaeology and Historic Historical past and coordinator of the multidisciplinary analysis unit ArchaeChemis, explains that this work establishes the methodological bases to find out the kind and origin of ceramic fragments that with classical classification strategies are unimaginable to establish, a proven fact that constitutes one of the vital obstacles for the examine of one of these supplies. “These analyses assist acquire extra exhaustive knowledge in a web site or examine space on the trade or commerce and the manufacturing of ceramic objects and what they contained,” he says.


Clodoaldo Roldan, a researcher on the ICMUV, has mixed 4 completely different key analytical methods to establish the unknown fragments. Thus, mass spectrometry, used for the dedication of natural matrices, mixed with a conveyable X-ray gear, which is a non-destructive method, has made it simpler to establish main chemical components and traces of others, and decide the origin of the uncooked supplies used.

Alternatively, close to infrared and voltammetry analytical methods to check oxidation and discount processes, have supplied related info on the manufacturing means of amphorae from the spectroscopic identification of compounds associated to cooking temperatures. Right here it’s price highlighting the decisive contribution of two specialists from the Division of Analytical Chemistry: Salvador Garrigues for infrared evaluation, and Antonio Domenech, for voltammetry.

Agustin Pastor, researcher on the Division of Analytical Chemistry, says that in recent times, the usage of uncommon earths in archaeology is growing, as they’re markers of sources of uncooked supplies. These components have performed a key position in figuring out the origin of the fragments.

The examine is printed in Utilized Clay Science.

Supply: Asociacion RUVID [October 19, 2020]

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