MINERO-PETROGRAPHIC STUDY OF COOKING WARE AND POMPEIAN RED WARE (ROSSO POMPEIANO) FROM CUMA (SOUTHERN ITALY)

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email vimorra@unina.it

Abstract

Excavations carried out in Cuma by the Centre Jean Bérard archaeologists have uncovered a large quantity of pottery. This study is focused on cooking ware and on internal red-slip cookware, also known as Pompeian Red Ware (Rosso Pompeiano), dated from the first century bc to the first century ad. A comparison with the minero-petrographic composition of beach sands collected along the Bay of Naples coastline highlights the provenance of the temper from the Somma-Vesuvius area, marked by leucite-bearing scoriae and garnet. Petrochemical analyses allow us to distinguish two main groups of pottery characterized by different technological options based on the amount of temper and on the type of clay. X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscope data demonstrate improved accuracy in the production of Rosso Pompeiano, especially with regard to firing control, which was in a prevailing oxidizing atmosphere and in a narrow thermal range, between about 800 and 900°C.

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