Characterization of Chalcolithic Ceramics from the Lisbon Region, Portugal: An Archaeometric Study

Rute Correia Chaves, João Pedro Veiga, António Monge Soares

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Abstract

The Chalcolithic period in the Lisbon region, Portugal, is usually divided into three phases chronologically: the Early Chalcolithic, characterized by cylindrical corrugated cups, Full Chalcolithic by so-called acacia-leaf decoration, and Late Chalcolithic by Bell Beaker pottery. The aim of this research is to determine if Chalcolithic ceramic raw materials and production techniques have remained the same over time and whether the pottery is locally produced. Regarding the Lisbon region, 149 ceramic samples from four Chalcolithic settlements (Vila Nova de São Pedro, Penedo do Lexim, Espargueira and Baútas) were evaluated concerning textural, chemical and mineralogical compositions. Textural analysis was performed using optical microscopy, chemical characterization was achieved using micro-energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry and mineralogical characterization was undertaken using X-ray powder diffraction and petrographic microscopy as main techniques. Results suggest that production techniques may have remained similar throughout all the Chalcolithic period, with firing temperatures between 700 and 800 °C. Multivariate analysis of results from chemical and mineralogical analyses suggests that multiple sources of raw materials must have been used in the manufacture of the pottery collected at the four Chalcolithic settlements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2422-2443
Number of pages22
JournalHeritage
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2022

Keywords

  • Pottery
  • Ceramics
  • Amphorae

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