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The production of traditional building materials in Oristano (Sardinia, Italy)

  • Autori: Tsantini, E.; Cau Ontiveros, M.; Montana, G.; Randazzo, L.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2017
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


The study of ceramic-making communities which employ traditional practices can provide insights into the raw materials and techniques used over the centuries in a particular territory. The archaeometric study of ceramic products and of the raw materials used in their production is an effective complement to the existing ethnographic information. This paper focuses on the brick and tile making tradition of Oristano, a town in Central-Western Sardinia (Italy). Applying a combination of techniques, it includes an extensive analysis of traditional handmade and early industrial bricks and tiles, and a study of the local clays that may have been used as raw materials. Although we were unable to study workshops in operation, we had access to the oral testimonies of local workers regarding traditional production processes. In this sense, this is an ethnographic case study that can be considered as a semiarchaeological situation. Studies of this kind, in conjunction with ethnoarchaeometric analyses, are also useful to test some of the theoretical and methodological approaches used in archaeometric research. In this regard, the present study also explores the compositional variability of the ceramic production within the same territory.