In the study of ancient pottery, thin section analysis represents the basic approach to study mineralogical and petrografic features in order to obtain preliminary information about the production technology and origin of archaeological ceramics. However, even if thin section analysis allows investigating the textural and structural characteristics of potteries, peculiar features related to clay paste and temper composition, as well as provenance issues, can be detailed addressed only by quantitative mineralogical and chemical studies. In the realization of thin sections, a negative face is always produced, similar to the thin section itself; these remains can be used for additional analyses, such as high spatial resolution micro-chemical studies using, for example, a micro-laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) scanner. LIBS is a spectroscopic technique that, exploiting the laser radiation, is able to bring into the plasma state micrometric portions of the sample, and to analyse its content through the study of the optical emission of the plasma itself. Unlike other techniques, LIBS can detect and quantify also light elements such as aluminium and magnesium. Images produced by the micro-LIBS instrument show the spatial distribution of the chemical elements within a portion of the sample, which may have dimensions from a few hundred microns up to several centimeters. The combination of these images with algorithms derived from image processing techniques may return interesting information and supporting data to in-depth investigate pottery components detected by optical microscopy observations. In this work, we present the results of an experimental study performed on thin-section negatives with different grain size, surface treatments and aggregates, coming from some Neolithic Italian sites, exploring the potential of the LIBS method in micro-chemical studies of ancient potsherds.

Micro-chemical evaluation of ancient potsherds by μ-LIBS scanning on thin section negatives

Stefano, Pagnotta
;
Beatrice, Campanella;Marco, Lezzerini;Francesco, Poggialini;Simona, Raneri
2018

Abstract

In the study of ancient pottery, thin section analysis represents the basic approach to study mineralogical and petrografic features in order to obtain preliminary information about the production technology and origin of archaeological ceramics. However, even if thin section analysis allows investigating the textural and structural characteristics of potteries, peculiar features related to clay paste and temper composition, as well as provenance issues, can be detailed addressed only by quantitative mineralogical and chemical studies. In the realization of thin sections, a negative face is always produced, similar to the thin section itself; these remains can be used for additional analyses, such as high spatial resolution micro-chemical studies using, for example, a micro-laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) scanner. LIBS is a spectroscopic technique that, exploiting the laser radiation, is able to bring into the plasma state micrometric portions of the sample, and to analyse its content through the study of the optical emission of the plasma itself. Unlike other techniques, LIBS can detect and quantify also light elements such as aluminium and magnesium. Images produced by the micro-LIBS instrument show the spatial distribution of the chemical elements within a portion of the sample, which may have dimensions from a few hundred microns up to several centimeters. The combination of these images with algorithms derived from image processing techniques may return interesting information and supporting data to in-depth investigate pottery components detected by optical microscopy observations. In this work, we present the results of an experimental study performed on thin-section negatives with different grain size, surface treatments and aggregates, coming from some Neolithic Italian sites, exploring the potential of the LIBS method in micro-chemical studies of ancient potsherds.
Pagnotta, Stefano; Legnaioli, Stefano; Campanella, Beatrice; Grifoni, Emanuela; Lezzerini, Marco; Lorenzetti, Giulia; Palleschi, Vincenzo; Poggialini, Francesco; Raneri, Simona
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/932722
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