A variety of ceramic fabrics bearing mudstone inclusions (either naturally existing in the clay or added as temper) are attested in several sites in South-Western (SW) Cyprus. Within the Mamonia terrane of SW Cyprus mudstone-bearing lithologies are divided into two main groups. Sediments of the Ayios Photios group (sandstones, siltstones, mudstones, calcarenites, occasional limestones and chert) were deposited in marine conditions and close to the continental slope. In contrast, the contemporaneous Dhiarizos group contains radiolarian mudstones and cherts deposited in deep sea conditions. Mudstones and cherts from both formations share similar macroscopic characteristics (distinctive red colour, fine texture) and can be confused for one another, especially when examined only as small scale ceramic inclusions. Being able to differentiate between the different inclusion types
and to link them to one of the two formations could lead to useful conclusions regarding the
provenance of ceramic samples within the Mamonia terrane. In this case study geological samples from
relevant mudstone sources were analyzed as reference materials to describe the possible types of
mudstone inclusions. Sr and Pb isotopic data were the primary means for distinguishing between the
two major formations, as they closely relate to the differences in depositional setting. Based on the
isotopic classification, microtextural analysis and elemental mapping data were also compared to
determine if members of the two formations can be distinguishable at this level. Finally, as the isotopic
approach proved to be the one offering better results, a theoretical outline for utilizing this type of
information to determine the provenance of mudstones in ceramic sherds is presented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-464
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2016

    Research areas

  • Sr isotopes, Pb isotopes, temper provenance, mudstones, Cyprus, ceramics

ID: 5300898