Characterization of pottery from Republic of Macedonia. III. A study of comparative mineralogical detection efficiency using micro-Raman mapping and X-ray diffraction


Biljana Minčeva-Šukarova, Institute of Chemistry, Faculty of Natural Sciences & Mathematics, University ‘Ss Cyril & Methodius’, Arhimedova 5, PO Box 162, 1001 Skopje, Republic of Macedonia.



Point-to-point micro-Raman and X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques were employed for characterization of minerals present in the pottery body of 27 glazed Byzantine and Ottoman pottery shreds, excavated at two different archaeological sites in the Republic of Macedonia: in Skopje (Skopsko Kale) and in Prilep (Markovi Kuli and Sv. Atanas Church). The Raman spectra of 18 Byzantine samples (dating from 12th−14th century) and nine Ottoman samples (dating from 17th−19th century) revealed 26 different minerals. XRD measurements were further performed on the same powder samples to validate the mineralogical assessment obtained by point-to-point micro-Raman spectroscopy. Although only 13 different mineral phases were obtained by the XRD, the results obtained from the Raman and XRD spectra for the most abundant minerals in the investigated pottery bodies match quite well. However, the identification of the less abundant minerals in the clay matrixes from the XRD data was very difficult, if at all possible. The results emphasize the specifics of the applied techniques and their limits. Additionally, wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy was used for the elemental analysis. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.