Chemical characterization of ancient potteries from Himera and Pestavecchianecropolis (Sicily, Italy) by Inductively Coupled Plasma–Optical EmissionSpectrometry (ICP–OES)

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Thirty-eight samples of pottery were analyzed for determining chemical composition in order to establish theirprovenance. The potteries tested in the present research come from Himera and Pestavecchia archaeologicalsites. After digestion in microwave oven, the samples have been analyzed for fourteen minor elements (Ba, Cd,Co, Cr, Cu, Ga, Li, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sr, Ti, Tl, and Zn) and six major elements (Al, Ca, Fe, K, Mg, and Na). Chemicalanalysis was carried out by Inductively Coupled Plasma–Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP–OES). The mostabundant minor elements are Cr, Ba and Ni. Cr concentration ranged from 66 to 3635 mg kg−1, Baconcentration ranged from 388 to 2677 mg kg−1 and Ni concentration ranged from 35 to 1758 mg kg−1. Therelative standard deviation (RSD) of the replicates on the concentrations of analyzed metals ranged from 0.07%to 14%.The aim of this study is to assign the local or non-local provenance of the examined potteries, in particularvalidating and clarifying archaeological hypothesis based on the simple visual examination and stylisticcharacterization of ceramic objects. Principal component analysis performed on the dataset, together with theapplication of cluster technique and non statistical analysis, allowed the identification of three main groups ofsamples and a lonely one (R 97). In particular, sample R 97 shows high Cr concentration (3635 mg kg−1) andhigh Ni concentration (1758 mg kg−1), typical of Corinthian pottery. The results of chemical analysis showthat the stylistic features are not always sufficient to correctly identify the origin of a ceramic object.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)165-172
Numero di pagine8
RivistaMicrochemical Journal
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2011


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy

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