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Abstract

Our paper studies the mineralogical and petrographical characteristics of 28 ceramic fragments that were excavated in the village of Palatca, Transylvania (Romania). Optical microscopy, X-Ray powder diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), grain size analyses, and porosity measurements were used to investigate the samples. Our objective was to describe or reconstruct the corresponding products and to elucidate the manufacturing process, the firing techniques, and the transformation pathways. Based on our results, we conclude that the Late Bronze Age ceramics (1600-1300 BC) were produced from clay and temper material such as river sand and ceramoclasts. It has been modeled by hand and fired between 800 and 950°C. For most samples, we can narrow the temperature range to 850-900°C. We interpret the data further from a geoarchaeological point of view with respect to the historical evolution of the local culture.

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