Spectroscopic characterization of amphorae from the 8th to the 7th c. BCE found at the Almaraz settlement in Almada, Portugal

L. F. Vieira Ferreira, L. Barros, I. Ferreira Machado, A. Gonzalez, M. F.C. Pereira, Tânia Manuel Casimiro

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8 Citations (Scopus)


The archaeological site of Almaraz is located in the old part of the city of Almada, in the south shore of Tagus River, region of Lisbon. The excavated findings and the radiocarbon dating of the contexts where these were found show an occupation that can in fact be dated from the 8th to the 7th c. BCE period, thus a very early stage of the Phoenician occupation in the Iberian Peninsula. Numerous amphorae sherds were found at Almaraz. A spectroscopic characterization of those ceramics was made and is presented here, to help us understand if they were produced locally, in Lisbon workshops, or imported. Sixteen sherds representative of the thousands found at Almaraz were studied with the use of non-invasive spectroscopies, namely by crossing information from micro-Raman and X-ray fluorescence emission data. X-ray diffraction experiments were also performed. In spite of the fact that no ceramic kilns were found at Almaraz until now, the results point to two major groups of amphorae of local origin: one which used clays of Miocene origin, found on the southern shores of the Tagus River, very close to the Almaraz site, at Palença (with quartz, anorthite, diopside and hematite). Another group, remarkably different, made use of clays of Pliocene origin also from the Tagus Estuary, the Fontaínhas clay source (where quartz, anorthite, muscovite and hematite were found).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-174
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • Almaraz at Tagus Estuary
  • Micro-Raman
  • Phoenician amphorae
  • XRD
  • XRF


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