Apulian red-figured pottery, one of the most important examples of ceramic handcraft production in Magna Graecia, dating back to the 5th and 4th centuries BCE and coming from the most relevant sites in Apulia (Southern Italy), has been extensively characterized by our group for several years [1-5]. Our main goals are various and quite ambitious: highlighting technological differences between Apulian red-figured pottery and the most famous Attic one, obtaining valuable knowledge about pottery workshops and painters and defining the nature of coatings and decorations. We have investigated ceramic body, black gloss and overpainting areas of items by different techniques according to issues to be solved and samples availability. The ceramic bodies’ elemental composition has been investigated by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS), the mineralogical composition of pastes by polarized-light optical and electron microscopies (OM and SEM-EDS), and X-ray powder diffraction (PXRD). The fruitful combination of results driven from multivariate statistical treatment of compositional data and mineralogical arrangement of pastes allows us to formulate hypotheses about the provenance of items and manufacturing tradition of workshops, starting to make it possible to comprehend the connections among ceramic technology, artistic expression, and workshop practice in the samples analyzed. Also, with regard to the material brought to light during the 19th century, it is known that “antiquarian type” of restoration was the most used (i.e. reconstruction and repainting, following the mimetic taste of the time). From this point of view, our archaeometric investigations have also provide detailed guidelines on the 19th century restoration techniques [6]. All 5th century objects analyzed up to know, nevertheless sites of provenance, show the same features: fine texture of the ceramic body, red figures saved from the ceramic paste and black gloss painted directly on the ceramic body. Regarding the 4th century objects, some highlight features similar to the 5th century ones, whereas others are characterized by a ceramic body with a coarser texture and a layer of ingobbio rosso. This intermediate layer entirely covered the external part of the vase and was reddish than the ceramic body -visually better to obtain red decorations- and the black gloss -when present- was painted on it. The chemical and minero-petrographic results make it possible to discriminate different production technologies of red figured Apulian vases used in Apulia during the 4th century BCE. This technology seems to take shape of a distinctive characteristic of Late Apulian production regardless of sites of provenance. Finally, we selected a consistent number of items to be analyzed by LA-ICPMS (Laser Ablation ICPMS). We compared Apulian samples and Attic ones, obtaining info on major, minor and trace elements. From an archaeometric point of view, the results showed differences both in the black gloss and in the ceramic body raw materials used in Apulia with respect to Attic ones, so providing an objective parameter of regional production discrimination. The comparison carried on leads us to exclude imports of black gloss from Greece, as hypothesized by some scholars [7]. Nevertheless, in order to accomplish conclusive observations, sampling has to be extended, both in terms of numbers and provenance of samples.

Mapping Apulian Red Figure Pottery by a multitechnique approach

L. C. Giannossa;F. Mastrorocco;R. Laviano;A. Mangone
2019

Abstract

Apulian red-figured pottery, one of the most important examples of ceramic handcraft production in Magna Graecia, dating back to the 5th and 4th centuries BCE and coming from the most relevant sites in Apulia (Southern Italy), has been extensively characterized by our group for several years [1-5]. Our main goals are various and quite ambitious: highlighting technological differences between Apulian red-figured pottery and the most famous Attic one, obtaining valuable knowledge about pottery workshops and painters and defining the nature of coatings and decorations. We have investigated ceramic body, black gloss and overpainting areas of items by different techniques according to issues to be solved and samples availability. The ceramic bodies’ elemental composition has been investigated by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS), the mineralogical composition of pastes by polarized-light optical and electron microscopies (OM and SEM-EDS), and X-ray powder diffraction (PXRD). The fruitful combination of results driven from multivariate statistical treatment of compositional data and mineralogical arrangement of pastes allows us to formulate hypotheses about the provenance of items and manufacturing tradition of workshops, starting to make it possible to comprehend the connections among ceramic technology, artistic expression, and workshop practice in the samples analyzed. Also, with regard to the material brought to light during the 19th century, it is known that “antiquarian type” of restoration was the most used (i.e. reconstruction and repainting, following the mimetic taste of the time). From this point of view, our archaeometric investigations have also provide detailed guidelines on the 19th century restoration techniques [6]. All 5th century objects analyzed up to know, nevertheless sites of provenance, show the same features: fine texture of the ceramic body, red figures saved from the ceramic paste and black gloss painted directly on the ceramic body. Regarding the 4th century objects, some highlight features similar to the 5th century ones, whereas others are characterized by a ceramic body with a coarser texture and a layer of ingobbio rosso. This intermediate layer entirely covered the external part of the vase and was reddish than the ceramic body -visually better to obtain red decorations- and the black gloss -when present- was painted on it. The chemical and minero-petrographic results make it possible to discriminate different production technologies of red figured Apulian vases used in Apulia during the 4th century BCE. This technology seems to take shape of a distinctive characteristic of Late Apulian production regardless of sites of provenance. Finally, we selected a consistent number of items to be analyzed by LA-ICPMS (Laser Ablation ICPMS). We compared Apulian samples and Attic ones, obtaining info on major, minor and trace elements. From an archaeometric point of view, the results showed differences both in the black gloss and in the ceramic body raw materials used in Apulia with respect to Attic ones, so providing an objective parameter of regional production discrimination. The comparison carried on leads us to exclude imports of black gloss from Greece, as hypothesized by some scholars [7]. Nevertheless, in order to accomplish conclusive observations, sampling has to be extended, both in terms of numbers and provenance of samples.
978-88-94952-10-0
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/250055
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