Looking through pots: recent advances in ceramics X-radiography

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


From its first application to ceramics, X-radiography has been used successfully to identify manufacturing details. While many of the key parameters are well understood, several questions require further analysis. These include the radiographic distinction between wheel-thrown and wheel-shaped pots and an assessment of the impact of secondary forming techniques and surface treatments on inclusion orientation laid down during primary forming. To clarify these issues, controlled experiments were conducted. Results indicate that coiled and wheel-shaped vessels can be distinguished radiographically from fully wheel-thrown ones. As regards secondary forming and surface treatments, none of those investigated could be shown to obscure traces of primary forming techniques. Overall, X-radiography is shown to be a valuable tool for understanding forming techniques and sequences of ancient vessels. Assessing X-radiography's contribution in characterising clay fabrics, experiments were conducted with regard to clay body and inclusion visibility. These experiments support Foster's conclusions [Foster. G.V., 1985. Identification of inclusions in ceramic artefacts by xeroradiography. Journal of Field Archaeology 12, 373-376]. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1177-1188
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2008


  • Ceramics
  • Experimental archaeology
  • Primary forming techniques
  • Secondary forming techniques
  • Surface treatments
  • Wheel-shaping
  • Wheel-throwing
  • X-radiography


Dive into the research topics of 'Looking through pots: recent advances in ceramics X-radiography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this