Abstract

The Bracarense ceramics are characterized by a fine, pale yellow paste covered with a brownish yellow slip. The name is derived from Bracara Augusta, the Roman town located in the north of Portugal, where this type of ceramic paste was first found and identified. Various forms with the same type of paste occur, such as imitations of sigillata, terra sigillata and thin walls from the Augustus-Tiberius period, and common ware. Later, similar ceramics were also found in other archeological sites, e.g. Aquis Querquennis (Galiza, Spain), which question the location of the production center of this type of ceramic paste.

Mineralogical and chemical analyses showed that the majority of the Bracarense shards studied differ from the common ware of the Braga region. Despite minor differences, the Bracarense shards collected in Aquis Querquennis have the same geochemical pattern as those found in Bracara Augusta, i.e. they appear to have been manufactured with the same clay type. The firing products found indicate a kaolin character of the source clay, and point to firing temperatures near 900°C. The Aquis Querquennis shards have greater Br contents, which can be explained by use-wear and/or post-depositional processes, as this site is located in a thermal-water region.

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