Abstract

The production of pottery in the traditional manner using local raw materials can provide insights into the provenance of ancient artefacts. This study uses mineralogical analysis to evaluate the raw clays and tempers used for pottery production in Zlakusa (western Serbia). Particle-size distribution, plasticity, X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, X-ray powder diffraction, scanning electron microscopy/energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry and differential thermal analysis techniques were applied. The mineral phases identified in the raw clay sample are kaolinite/halloysite, mica/illite, smectite, quartz, paragonite, feldspar, calcite and hematite. The clay body sample is a mixture of raw clay and crushed calcite in a ~50:50 ratio, which was confirmed using various techniques. We have also considered and investigated the technological potential of the sampled materials, taking into consideration their actual and potential applications. It was confirmed that the clay body may be used in the manufacture of bricks and pottery, but its industrial application is limited by the paste recipe.

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