ISLAMIC POTTERY PRODUCTION IN EASTERN SICILY (10th-11th CENTURIES): PRELIMINARY ARCHAEOMETRIC DATA ON LOCAL AND IMPORTED PRODUCTS FROM PATERNÒ (SICILY)

Michelangelo Messina, Lucia Arcifa, Germana Barone, Claudio Finocchiaro, Paolo Mazzoleni
2018 Zenodo  
From the 9th to the 11th century, Sicily has been part of the Islamic oecumene, the dār al-Islām. Up until now, very few studies have been carried out on the centres of pottery production of this period, and most of them concern the Emiral capital of the isle, Palermo. The archaeometric data obtained with chemical and minero-petrographic analyses on Islamic pottery found in Paternò – a town situated in the southwestern slope of Mt. Etna – has provided a certain number of issues of very
more » ... es of very important matter. The selection of the samples has been made among the archaeological finds coming from the excavation near the church of Cristo al Monte, on the hilltop, which represented the inner part of the medieval madīna. The mineralogical and chemical characterization of the ceramic body has been attained using optical microscopy on thin sections and X-ray fluorescence respectively, in order to define the probable provenance of each sample. Further information of technological matter has been provided using X-Ray diffraction on powdered samples, which furnishes mineralogical data useful to hypothesise the firing temperatures: the main task attained on this issue was the focus on the self-slipped ware with salted water, one of the main technological class in Islamic Sicily. Finally, energy dispersive X-Ray fluorescence was adopted for a preliminary investigation of pigments used to decorate the lead glazed pottery. The issues related to both the local and imported pots – the latter represented almost completely by Palermo"s products – provided some important historical and archaeological information about the means of Sicilian pottery production during this important period.
doi:10.5281/zenodo.1285913 fatcat:slpbeu6jobhclai6oevxc4iroy