PIXE analysis of antique pottery from the Mediterranean sea area
S. Rösemeier 1 , H. Hofsäss 1 , C. B. Fantauzzi 2 , S. Bergemann 2
1) 2nd Institute of Physics, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
2) Archeological Institute, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Nikolausberger Weg 15 37073 Göttingen, Germany
Contact and presenting person: H. Hofsäss, hans.hofsaess[AT]phys.uni-goettingen.de
We have used the external proton beam setup at Göttingen University to analyze the elemental composition of about 600 antique pottery samples collected in Sicily and neighboring islands. The samples can be categorized in groups of Terra Sigillata (roman ceramic table ware), Mediterranean cooking ware, African cooking ware, amphores, greek laquer ware (greek fine ceramics), domestic pottery, ceramics from Pantelleria (Italy), and pre-historic pottery. For each recovered pottery fragment representative small pieces of few mm diameter were collected and analyzed using PIXE with a 2.5 MeV proton beam of 1 mm 2 size and 5 nA beam current, extracted into air through a 200 nm Si 3 N 4 membrane. Relative concentrations of elements starting from Si up to Pb were analyzed, including oxygen as additional invisible element. Besides the main components Si, K, Ca and Fe we focus on the concentrations of trace elements (few hundered ppm) like Ti, V, Sc, Sr, Sn and the metals Cr, Ni, and Zn, which show significant variations even within one group of pottery samples. The results are discussed and compared with literature data from neutron activation analysis.