ToF-SIMS investigation of ancient ceramics from the Quartaia Site, Tuscany (Italy)

Research Area: Uncategorized Year: 2011
Type of Publication: Article
Number: 8, SI Pages: 1108-1119
Month: August
ISSN: 0142-2421
The study of ancient ceramic fragments provides important information about the production technology that characterized a certain civilization. In this work, time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), atomic absorption spectroscopy(AAS) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were used to study two types of ceramics having different impasto (depurata and non-depurata ceramics). Ancient fragments, belonging to the archeological site of Quartaia (Tuscany, Italy), were examined to obtain chemical and spatial information on inorganic and organic components. The results revealed the presence of the major elements, i.e. Al, Mg, Na, K, Ca, Si, Fe; minor elements, i.e. Cr, Cu, Mn, Pb; and organic components adsorbed during the firing process, both in depurata and non-depurata ceramics. In addition, through ToF-SIMS imaging, it was possible to highlight inorganic components, i.e. Na, Ca, Fe, K and Mg, that showed an inhomogeneous spatial distribution in non-depurata ceramics. These chemical elements appear to be concentrated inside the inclusions of the non-depurata ceramics impasto. These unique results demonstrated that ToF-SIMS is a potential tool to reveal important aspects of the Quartaia ceramic production technology and it results in a very promising technique for the archeological studies. Copyright (C) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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