The Potential of EBSD and EDS for Ceramics Investigations—Case Studies on Sherds of Pre-Columbian Pottery


  • Received 27 September 2016; accepted 22 February 2017


The work focuses on the potential of structural and chemical examinations by scanning electron microscopy based methods for archaeometric studies on ceramics. Achieved by a single preparation technique (polished block sections), the feasibility and benefits of electron backscatter diffraction are demonstrated as case studies using polychrome examples of pre-Columbian pottery (Wari, Moche and Cajamarca). Elemental and phase maps allow for separate consideration of clay and temper. Identification of mineral phases and intergrowths of temper particles provide information for clarifying clay procurement and firing techniques with respect to local versus non-local pottery to enlighten trade relations, technological transfer and shared heritage of pre-Columbian cultures.