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Micro-raman spectroscopy study of pigments used on the potteries of Shahr-I Sūkhté (fourth to third millennium BC), South-East Iran

By Negar Eftekhari, Vaccaro Carmela and Thun Hohenstein Ursula


The decorated potteries of Shahr-i Sūkhté archaeological site (fourth to third millennium BC) have been grouped into two types: local and imported polychrome potteries. Red, brown, and black are the variety of colors used on the Local potteries, which are mostly monochrome and, less-frequently, bichrome. On the polychrome potteries, however, other than the pre-mentioned colors, orange and yellow can also be seen, which are often juxtaposed in a single pottery shred. In this study, pigments used in both types were studied by micro-Raman spectroscopy. The results showed that the black manganese oxide (hausmannite, Mn3O4), the black iron oxide (magnetite, Fe3O4), and the red iron oxide (hematite, Fe2O3) have been used to decorate the local potteries. On the other hand, red, orange, and yellow hydroxides of iron (i.e. hematite, goethite, and limonite respectively) were identified on the imported potteries. Moreover, the results showed that the black color on the imported potteries is carbon. The presence of carbon on the imported potteries demonstrates that they have most probably been decorated after the firing process

Topics: Shahr-i Sūkhté, potteries, Iran, firing process
Publisher: Department of Geosciences
Year: 2013
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