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GIUSEPPE MONTANA

Pantellerian ware a comprehensive archaeometric review.

Abstract

Pantellerian ware is a Late Roman cooking ware whose production centre was established on the island of Pantelleria by the pioneering research of Fulford and Peacock almost 20 years ago (Peacock 1982; Fulford and Peacock 1984). Archaeological and archaeometric studies carried out by the authors of the present contribution during the past four years have aimed to fully characterize this ceramic class. Recurrent ceramic forms, their distribution over time and space, their petrographic characteristics and their chemical identity, as well as possible raw materials and their technological properties, were considered. The present paper is a comprehensive review of this archaeometric work and aims to establish a ‘reference group’. Using a representative number of samples of Pantellerian ware that were recently discovered in the island through archaeological field surveys or surface and submarine excavations, it was possible to characterize in detail the compositional variability of this ware in terms of chemistry and petrography. Furthermore, the physical properties of this ceramic type have been defined in order to better understand its performance characteristics, mainly in response to induced thermal stress. In the meantime, the experimental mixing and tempering of locally sampled raw materials have shed light on the ancient manufacturing process and have led to an approximation of the original paste.