Spectroscopy of 16th century Portuguese tin-glazed earthenware produced in the region of Lisbon

L. F. Vieira Ferreira, A. Gonzalez, M. F. C. Pereira, L. F. Santos, T. M. Casimiro, D. P. Ferreira, D. S. Conceicao, I. Ferreira Machado

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15 Citations (Scopus)


The oldest kilns producing tin glaze wares discovered in the region of Lisbon were located in the south shore of Tagus river at Santo Antonio da Charneca (SAC) and Mata da Machada (MNI). Firing this type of pottery from the fourth quarter of the 15th century to mid-16th century, they were located about 20 km away from central Lisbon. Many other examples of ceramics produced in Lisbon workshops from that period are also known and exist in museums or archaeological collections, in spite of the fact that only one kiln dated from that period was found in Lisbon until now.

Therefore, the spectroscopic characterization of ceramics found in Lisbon archaeological contexts (attributed to Lisbon workshops) and also from SAC or MM - was needed and was performed here. Sherds representative of these faience production centres in the Lisbon region dated from the 16th/17th centuries were studied with the use of non-invasive spectroscopies, namely micro-Raman, Ground State Diffuse Reflectance Absorption (GSDR) and X-ray fluorescence emission (XRF). X-ray diffraction (XRD) experiments were also performed. Also clays were collected both in the North and South shores of the river Tagus, as much as possible from the same clay sources as used in the initial workshops.

The obtained results evidence a clear similarity in the pastes of the pottery of the Lisbon region, quartz, gehlenite and diopside (or augite) being the major components. Clays are from Miocene origin, but differences between the ceramic pastes were detected pointing to the use of several clay sources. The spectroscopic trend exhibited at SAC and MM pottery is remarkably different, quartz being the major component of those pastes, and clays are from Pliocene origin. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd and Techna Group S.r.l. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13433-13446
Number of pages14
JournalCeramics International
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


  • Portuguese ancient ceramics
  • XRD
  • XRF
  • Micro-Raman
  • GSDR
  • SITE
  • 16TH


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