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pXRF study of pottery : State of the art and perspectives


Although portable/handheld X-ray Fluorescence instruments are available from decades, the number of publications reporting on-site analyses of pottery remain very limited. Most of them present the paste composition and not the (glazed) décor. After a brief review of the published works about the studies of pottery and glass, we will discuss the advantages (on-site analysis and selection of artefacts, higher number of objects, better statistics …) and drawbacks (light elements and some traces not measured, difficulty to determine the analyzed volume, low quantity of informative elements…). We will take examples on three important series previously analyzed, 18th- century stonewares (from Meissen [1], Delft, China, England, France… belonging mainly to Sèvres collection, France), “Iznik” style tiles covering walls of Edirne mosques (Turkey World Unesco Heritage, Fig. 1 [2]) and Chinese and Vietnamese shards excavated from a medieval harbor (Qalhat, Oman Sultanate [3]) and discuss the two possible ways to extract information: i) the blind eyes approach using PCA and cluster variation statistical analysis, and ii) the comparison of particular element ratios or contents related to the raw materials used for the paste and the glaze (alkalis and earth alkalis, iron and titanium, lead, …) and the coloring and opacifying agents (tin, cobalt, copper, arsenic, nickel, manganese, …). Expected further developments will be discussed. [1] G. Simsek, F. Casadio, Ph. Colomban, K. Faber, L. Bellot-Gurlet, G. Zelleke, V. Milande, E. Moinet, Journal of The American Ceramic Society 97 (2014) 2745-2754. [2] G. Simsek, O. Uunsalan, K. Bayraktar, Ph. Colomban, Ceramics International 45 (2019) 595-605. [3] G. Simsek, Ph. Colomban, S. Wong, B. Zhao, A. Rougeulle, N.Q. Liem, Journal of Cultural Heritage 16 (2015) 159-172.
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hal-03964390 , version 1 (31-01-2023)


  • HAL Id : hal-03964390 , version 1


Philippe Colomban, Gulsu Simsek. pXRF study of pottery : State of the art and perspectives. TECHNART 2019 – International Conference Non-destructive and microanalytical techniques in art and cultural heritage, May 2019, Bruges, Belgium. ⟨hal-03964390⟩
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