Abstract and Keywords
The chapter discusses the various kinds of mineralogical and chemical alteration of pottery buried in the soil. The effects have been studied by many archaeometrists (mostly using XRD, XRF, NAA) on the basis of three approaches: comparative studies of pottery from a single workshop buried under different conditions, analysis of profiles of single sherds, and simulation of burial conditions. The most common effects on phase composition which have an impact determining original firing temperatures are rehydration and rehydroxylation of clay minerals and alterations connected with the formation of secondary calcite. Chemical alteration influences the determination of provenances and includes absorption (e.g. of P and Ba) and leaching (e.g. of Ca, alkaline elements and others) depending on burial conditions. Examples of Roman terra sigillata are given.
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