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• Fe3 + concentration can indicate if a piece of pottery was used for cooking.
• The temperature, environment and time of firing pottery can be determined using EPR in pottery not used for cooking
The estimated firing temperature and atmosphere in which a piece of pottery was produced can be identified by comparing the concentration of Fe3 + between the piece of pottery and clay with a similar chemical composition that were subjected to identical thermal treatments. This procedure was applied to modern pottery donated by indigenous people and to a set of archaeological pottery. The modern pottery that was used for cooking for two years exhibited higher Fe3 + concentrations than the clay that was fired at any temperature; thus, the parameters of production were not identified in this pottery. The same procedure can be used to identify the use of a piece of pottery as a pan. Of the set of 14 pieces of archaeological pottery examined in this study, 12 were able to have their production parameters identified, and 2 fragments were identified with Fe3 + concentrations that were higher than that of the fired clay, suggesting that these pieces were used as pans. The results of this study indicate that the concentration of Fe3 + can be used to determine if a piece of pottery was used for cooking; additionally, if a piece of pottery was not used for cooking, then the proposed method can identify the parameters of the piece of pottery's production.
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Journal: Applied Clay Science - Volume 129, August 2016, Pages 88–91