Portable X-ray fluorescence analysis of selected ceramics from the so-called Tycheion of Aigeira

The elementary composition of selected samples of Hellenistic and Roman vessels of ceramic (terra sigillata and their ›imitations‹, transport amphorae) from the so-called Tycheion of Aigeira will be analyzed with portable X-ray fluorescence analysis. On the basis of this data geochemical patterns can be identified.

In the course of processing selected pottery finds from the so-called Tycheion of Aigeira questions regarding material science will be followed up with the help of a portable X-ray fluorescence analysis (pXRF). Through the examination rough geochemical groups can be formed and differentiated. In general this data basis permits the closer identification of the pottery under study.

pXRF and the determination of origin

In this context it must be clarified that pXRF is not a suitable method for the exact scientific determination of the provenance of ceramics. The exact localization of clearly defined production sites can, therefore, not be the aim of the study. Instead, the analyses are a novelty for the archaeological materials at Aigeira and should permit the differentiation between local and regional ceramic wares but also an identification of supraregionally traded import wares. In combination with the macroscopic evaluation of vessel shapes and fabrics, pXRF will significantly contribute to a better classification of Hellenistic and Roman pottery as a screening method.

Aims and perspectives

The differentiation of products of pottery workshops that were located in the northern Peloponnese from supraregionally traded import wares that come from production centers in Italy or the eastern Mediterranean, is of considerable relevance for economic historical statements on the basis of ceramic finds.