The Shang site at Anyang, China, was occupied from the 14th century to the 11th century BC. Excavations of this site have provided a wealth of information about the life of the people living there at the time. Grey, wheel-thrown, unglazed pottery was one of the many artifact types found. Previous to this study, there had been no petrographic work done on the ceramics found at Anyang. In this study, thirty-three sherds from Anyang were studied petrographically in order to determine the raw materials used in the manufacture of the pottery, whether the materials have changed over the length of time the pottery was being made, and whether different vessel types had distinct mineralogies. X-ray diffraction was used to determine the mineralogy of the sherds and local loessic soils, and thus, help to determine the provenance of the materials used in pottery manufacture. Chemical analysis was also used to further study the chemistry of the sherds and soils. The results indicate the pottery represented by the sherds was made of similar raw materials, and the raw materials differed throughout pottery types and phases, but with no real cultural pattern. Petrographically, the sherds were made of similar materials, and only grain size seemed to be a factor that set some sherds apart from the rest. XRD indicated the material in the sherds matches the local soils. Using a factor analysis for the chemical analysis data, two distinct chemical populations are indicated, but apparently mean little from a social or cultural standpoint. From 1275-1045 BC, the materials and local sources for the pottery manufacture did not vary greatly.
A Thesis submitted to the faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota by Lois Marie Bray in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science, December 2001.
Bray, Lois Marie.
Petrographic, X-Ray Diffraction, and Chemical Analysis of Pottery from Anyang, China.
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