Mineralogy and production technology of Değirmentepe (Malatya) pottery

Er, Mehmet Bilgi
A series of pottery samples provided from the survey investigations and excavations from Değirmentepe Mound (Malatya), belonging to Chalcolithic (Ubaid), Early Bronze and Iron Ages, were investigated by petrographic and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses to determine their textures, mineralogical compositions and microstructures. The sample microstructures and chemical (semiquantitative) compositions were also studied by scanning electron microscope with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM - EDX). The chemical analyses of some samples were further investigated by inductively coupled plasma – optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). Almost all samples were observed to consist of rock fragments, originating from metamorphic and igneous rocks, although larger grain sizes and higher grain to matrix ratios are recorded for Chalcolithic Age samples compared to those samples belonging to Iron Age. XRD investigations on representative samples of the three periods, revealed high abundances of quartz, feldspar, and pyroxene group minerals in all samples, while the presence of hematite and mica minerals were observed both in Chalcolithic and Iron Age samples, but underlying the use of micaceous raw materials mostly in Iron Age. In the XRD traces of the investigated sherds of Chalcolithic and Iron Ages, the absence of clay fractions both in the bulk and oriented samples, supports a minimum firing temperature of around 800- 850 °C, while the presence of mullite phase both in XRD and SEM – EDX results showed the possible use of high firing temperatures, in the range of 950–1050° C, starting from Chalcolithic Age. Chemical compositions of major oxides obtained ICP – OES analyses exhibit similar compositions both for Chalcolithic and Iron Age samples. Few exceptions observed may indicate possible use of different raw material and/or different manufacturing technique.
Citation Formats
M. B. Er, “Mineralogy and production technology of Değirmentepe (Malatya) pottery,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2011.