Methods of faience manufacture in antiquity: Investigation of colorants and technological processes

Lesley Frame, Donna Bright DeSorda, Yuan Chi Chiang, Pamela Vandiver

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Faience production methods include efflorescence, direct glaze application, and cementation glazing. However, similar processing has been used with a variety of other materials, such as glazed monolithic quartz, ground and re-fired faience, and steatite bodies. Furthermore, faience technology has been linked by similar processing to glass, synthetic pigment and glazing technologies. Here we reinforce these cross-craft relationships by comparing the range of similar functioning chemical elements in faience and glazed artifacts from a variety of archaeological sites that range from the Indus Valley to the Mediterranean. This broad comparative method based primarily on x-ray fluorescence analysis reveals trends in faience production, relationships with metallurgical technologies, and aspects of processing that provide areas of study that may be considered more closely in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMaterials Issues in Art and Archaeology IX
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2011
Event2010 MRS Fall Meeting - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Nov 29 2010Dec 3 2010

Publication series

NameMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0272-9172


Other2010 MRS Fall Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBoston, MA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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