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Mechanical and thermal behaviour of functional ceramics in the Aegean and Cyprus

Principal Researcher: Dr Noémi Müller (N.C.S.R. “Demokritos”, Greece)

Host organisation link: : http://www.ims.demokritos.gr/ims_field.php?ergo=G304&lang=en

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This project focuses on the technology of utilitarian ceramics (e.g. cooking vessels, transport amphorae) in the Aegean and Cyprus. The project includes methodological developments towards the role of raw material composition on mechanical and thermal properties of these type of ceramics. Furthermore, archaeological applications will be undertaken to elucidate specific archaeological questions and contribute to discussion of issues pertaining to ceramic technology and affordance (e.g. suitability and optimisation for specific functions).

Methodological part

  • Impact strength: examination of the response of ceramic materials to impact stresses, assessing the influence of technological choices in manufacture (e.g. firing, non-plastic inclusions) on this mechanical material property.
  • The use of NMR/FT-IR in the characterization of low fired clay-ceramics.

Archaeological application

  • Cooking ware, Marki Alonia, Cyprus: study of the influence of technological choices in manufacture on the affordance of cooking vessel, locally produced and imported (focus on thermal properties, collaboration with University of Cyprus).
  • Amphorae, Limenas, Thasos, Greece: technological study of transport amphorae which have been used as building materials (focus on mechanical properties)

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Photomicrographs of prehistoric Cypriot cooking pots’ microstructure in high magnification