Advances in ceramic radiography and analysis: Applications and potentials

Christopher Carr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

X-radiography can be used to study a variety of features of archaeological ceramics in order to solve a broad range of archaeological and anthropological problems. Many of these have only recently become possible with improvements in ceramic radiographic methods. Hidden features that can be detected radiographically include coils, slabs, and their size, morphology, and methods of joining; the material type, approximate mineralogy, size, density, and orientation of aplastic inclusions or voids; fracture systems; paste texture; and hidden vessel parts. Under certain conditions, these features can be used to sort sherds by their vessels of origin, to identify the primary and secondary methods of vessel manufacture, to assess vessel function, to complement petrography when identifying and sourcing trade vessels; and to identify post-depositional alterations. Both the basic data and inferred identities can be useful when reconstructing learning pools, vessel trade networks, and settlement functions; when estimating site occupation spans, population levels, frequencies of vessel trade, and stylistic-based measures of social interaction; and when building chronometric models of ceramic technological change. Bridging arguments that integrate X-radiographic methods, data, and some theoretical agendas of archaeology are made explicit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-34
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1990

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Keywords

  • Behavioural Archaeology
  • Ceramic Exchange
  • Ceramic Style
  • Ceramic Technology
  • Radiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology

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