SEM, EPR and ToF-SIMS analyses applied to unravel the technology employed for pottery-making by pre-colonial Indian tribes from Pantanal, Brazil

M.P. Felicissimo, J.L. Peixoto, C. Bittencourt, R. Tomasi, L. Houssiau, J.-J. Pireaux, U.P. Rodrigues-Filho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The present work aims at elucidating the technology applied in the fabrication of ceramic objects by the ancient ceramists that inhabited the western border of Pantanal, Mato-Grosso do Sul, with the help of a multidisciplinary approach making use of chemical and physical methods of analysis. The potshards under study show the presence of different types of additives, as determined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS). The dispersion of the additives within the ceramic matrix was also addressed by SEM, which shed light on the mounting technique used by the potters to assemble the ceramic vessels. Moreover, the tensile strength conferred to the pottery by the use of a specific type of additive was evaluated by applying a mechanical test. These results were correlated with the firing temperature of the potshards, determined by means of electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2179-2187
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2010


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