Ceramic building materials (CBM) are interesting archaeological items for gathering the material culture identity and urban setting of the ancient populations since their production is generally related to the local availability of clayey raw materials and advancements of technological skills of ancient makers. This paper investigates the Hellenistic and Roman productions of ceramic building materials from the archaeological site of Témesa on the Tyrrhenian coastline of Calabria region (southern Italy), a settlement where a flourishing ceramic tradition has been attested for all of its occupation phases, from the late Archaic to the Roman period. Here, the local availability of clayey and sandy raw materials permitted the development of a thriving worksite. A combined study of mineralogical, petrographic and micropaleontological features of archaeological samples and geological raw materials collected nearby the archaeological settlement, permitted to constrain the raw materials sources, and investigate the technological level achieved between the second half of the 4th century BCE and the 3rd century CE. This study highlighted that most of CBM was made by mixing sands from a nearby fluvial deposit with upper Miocene clayey raw materials. Chemical composition and micropaleontological investigation of the foraminiferal content of archaeological samples and clays validated the possible exploitation of local raw materials. Textural parameters and the mineralogical assemblage of temper grains, characterized by the peculiar presence of metamorphic lithics, also attested the use of Savuto river sands. Ceramic technology accounts for a firing process at reasonably high temperatures, evidencing the good technological level of production. Moreover, the presence of samples characterized by mix-designs and mineralogical assemblages consistent with geological materials from Campania region witnesses the importation of ceramic materials from other sites, suggesting the existence of operating trades as already attested for other sites of Tyrrhenian coast.

Ceramic building materials from the ancient Témesa (Calabria region, Italy): Raw materials procurement, mix-design and firing processes from the Hellenistic to Roman period

Germinario C.;Izzo F.;Mercurio M.;Grifa C.
2022-01-01

Abstract

Ceramic building materials (CBM) are interesting archaeological items for gathering the material culture identity and urban setting of the ancient populations since their production is generally related to the local availability of clayey raw materials and advancements of technological skills of ancient makers. This paper investigates the Hellenistic and Roman productions of ceramic building materials from the archaeological site of Témesa on the Tyrrhenian coastline of Calabria region (southern Italy), a settlement where a flourishing ceramic tradition has been attested for all of its occupation phases, from the late Archaic to the Roman period. Here, the local availability of clayey and sandy raw materials permitted the development of a thriving worksite. A combined study of mineralogical, petrographic and micropaleontological features of archaeological samples and geological raw materials collected nearby the archaeological settlement, permitted to constrain the raw materials sources, and investigate the technological level achieved between the second half of the 4th century BCE and the 3rd century CE. This study highlighted that most of CBM was made by mixing sands from a nearby fluvial deposit with upper Miocene clayey raw materials. Chemical composition and micropaleontological investigation of the foraminiferal content of archaeological samples and clays validated the possible exploitation of local raw materials. Textural parameters and the mineralogical assemblage of temper grains, characterized by the peculiar presence of metamorphic lithics, also attested the use of Savuto river sands. Ceramic technology accounts for a firing process at reasonably high temperatures, evidencing the good technological level of production. Moreover, the presence of samples characterized by mix-designs and mineralogical assemblages consistent with geological materials from Campania region witnesses the importation of ceramic materials from other sites, suggesting the existence of operating trades as already attested for other sites of Tyrrhenian coast.
2022
Calabria region
Ceramic building materials
Ceramic technology
Pian della Tirena
Provenance of raw materials
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12070/50515
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