Even though multidisciplinary approaches are widely used for the investigation of archaeological findings, magnetic analyses are still little exploited and only rarely applied to the determination of ancient artefacts use. Here, we present the results of a combined archaeological, morphological, and magnetic study carried out on the ring-shaped clay artefacts found in large quantities at the Iron Age site of Villa del Foro (Alessandria, Northern Italy). The shape and the significant number of such artefacts make their archaeometric investigation very interesting in order to understand the technological conditions of their production and use. A morphological investigation carried out on 640 fragments showed inhomogeneity in their dimensions, color, form, and clay refinement. Magnetic measurements show thermal stability after heat treatment up to around 500–600 °C, while further heating at higher temperature introduces some magnetic mineralogy changes. Thermal demagnetization of the samples generally shows a strong and stable thermal remanent magnetization. In few cases, a clear secondary component is present, suggesting partial re-heating or displacement at temperatures ranging from 200 to 450 °C. The results obtained indicate that the investigated ring-shaped artefacts were baked during their manufacture at temperatures of at least 600 °C. The archaeomagnetic investigation does not show any systematic evidence for magnetic components related to cooking activities and it is therefore suggested that the rings were used as weight looms and baked only during their production procedures. Such pilot study can be used as reference for the identification and study of similar objects found in other archaeological sites worldwide.

Determining the use of ancient ceramic artefacts through combined morphological and magnetic analyses: the case of Villa del Foro, Northern Italy / Tema, Evdokia; Ferrara, Enzo; Zamboni, Lorenzo; Venturino, Marica; Reboldi, Margherita; Egea Guevara, Albert; Casas, Lluís. - In: ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL SCIENCES. - ISSN 1866-9557. - 14:1(2022). [10.1007/s12520-021-01472-4]

Determining the use of ancient ceramic artefacts through combined morphological and magnetic analyses: the case of Villa del Foro, Northern Italy

Ferrara, Enzo
Investigation
;
2022

Abstract

Even though multidisciplinary approaches are widely used for the investigation of archaeological findings, magnetic analyses are still little exploited and only rarely applied to the determination of ancient artefacts use. Here, we present the results of a combined archaeological, morphological, and magnetic study carried out on the ring-shaped clay artefacts found in large quantities at the Iron Age site of Villa del Foro (Alessandria, Northern Italy). The shape and the significant number of such artefacts make their archaeometric investigation very interesting in order to understand the technological conditions of their production and use. A morphological investigation carried out on 640 fragments showed inhomogeneity in their dimensions, color, form, and clay refinement. Magnetic measurements show thermal stability after heat treatment up to around 500–600 °C, while further heating at higher temperature introduces some magnetic mineralogy changes. Thermal demagnetization of the samples generally shows a strong and stable thermal remanent magnetization. In few cases, a clear secondary component is present, suggesting partial re-heating or displacement at temperatures ranging from 200 to 450 °C. The results obtained indicate that the investigated ring-shaped artefacts were baked during their manufacture at temperatures of at least 600 °C. The archaeomagnetic investigation does not show any systematic evidence for magnetic components related to cooking activities and it is therefore suggested that the rings were used as weight looms and baked only during their production procedures. Such pilot study can be used as reference for the identification and study of similar objects found in other archaeological sites worldwide.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11696/73294
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