• Shira

New paper on the use of dung temper in pottery production

If you are interested in dung tempering of pottery (but also any other earth construction material), you might want to check our new paper titled: "‘Seeing Shit’: Assessing the Visibility of Dung Tempering in Ancient Pottery Using an Experimental Approach" that was just published in Environmental Archaeology. This project was led by Dr. Silvia Amicone, a pottery analyst and in collaboration with Dr. Lionello Morandi, a palynology specialist, both from the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen in Germany. In this paper we tried to identify dung tempering in experimentally produced clay briquettes which were fired in various temperatures between 0-900˚C.

We targeted several proxies such as dung spherulites, ash pseudomorphs, phytoliths and and spores of coprophilous fungi, both in bulk samples and in petrographic thin sections. Our study shows that identifying dung tempering in pottery is not that straightforward even though some of the more indicative dung proxies such as the spherulites can survive in temperatures up to 700˚C. Other variables such as the initial concentration of dung proxies in the dung used for temper, and the preparation method, may affect our ability to identify it.

If you want to check it out you can see it here

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