Radioisotope x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis has been utilized to determine the elemental composition of 55 archaeological pottery samples by the determination of 17 chemical elements. Fifty-four of them came from the Tel-Alramad site in Katana town, near Damascus city, Syria, and one sample came from Brazil. The XRF results have been processed using two multivariate statistical methods, cluster and factor analysis, in order to determine similarities and correlation between the selected samples based on their elemental composition. The methodology successfully separates the samples where four distinct chemical groups were identified. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.