Technological Analysis of Sicilian Prehistoric Pottery Production through Small Angle Neutron Scattering Technique

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middle bronze age, pottery technology, pyrotechnology, SANS, SEM

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The Middle Bronze Age in Sicily (15th-13th century BC) represents a crucial moment in the evolution of Prehistoric pottery production. However, the scarcity of specific petrographic and chemical studies has represented until now a serious interpretative handicap for archaeologists. The recent study of an important Middle Bronze Age pottery complex from the site of Grotte di Marineo (Licodia Eubea, Catania), offers the possibility to add new significant data in this field. The analyses, carried out on a group of diagnostic samples represent 13% of the whole complex. This allowed us to obtain a precise characterization that surpassed the misleading identification based on the simple autoptic exam. In this context, this paper highlights the potentiality of the small angle neutron scattering (SANS) technique as a non-invasive analytical tool for the study of technological aspects, in conjunction with other, more usual, methodologies such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM), in order to better investigate production technology of Middle Bronze Age Sicilian pottery.

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Periodico di Mineralogia, v. 84, no. 1, p. 1-22