Chemical and isotopic analysis in the investigation of glazes from Northern China and the Middle East, 7th-14th centuries AD

Shen, Jingyi (2017) Chemical and isotopic analysis in the investigation of glazes from Northern China and the Middle East, 7th-14th centuries AD. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

PDF (anyone) (Thesis - as examined) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (8MB) | Preview


Both Chinese and Islamic glazed ceramics played a significant role in the history of ancient ceramic production. Moreover, it was innovation in glazes that made the Chinese and Islamic ceramics constantly innovative in various categories with different manufacturing techniques. This study applies chemical and isotopic analyses to investigate the manufacturing techniques and provenances of different types of glazes from Northern China and the Middle East, and extends the use of Sr isotopic analysis to investigate raw materials and glaze recipes used to making lime/alkaline glazes in Northern China and the Middle East for the first time.

By chemical compositions of the lead glazes, the glazing techniques used to produce Chinese Tang Sancai lead glazes and splashed lead glazes from the Middle East have been identified. The mixture of lead oxide plus quartz/quartz sand was used for making both Chinese Tang Sancai glazes and Islamic splashed lead glazes. Besides, for the Chinese lead glazes, the trace element and lead isotopic analyses of them have been effective in grouping glazes made in different production kiln sites, and hence associating the Tang Sancai wares excavated from archaeological sites of unknown origin with their production centres. Furthermore, by comparing the lead isotopic ratios of Islamic lead glazes and those of lead ore deposits, the possible sources of lead used for making lead glazes can be determined, although more than one source was suggested due to the overlap of Pb isotopic ratios of different lead ore sources in some cases.

This study is the first time that Sr isotopic analysis has been applied to the lime/alkaline glazes from Northern China and the Middle East. It has revealed that Sr isotopic compositions of lime/alkaline glazes from Northern China and the Middle East have been very effective in providing information on the glaze recipes and characteristics of raw materials used for making them. Based on Sr isotopic compositions, the case study of Nothern Chinese lime glaze has identified that the Yaozhou celadon glaze was probably produced by local ‘Fuping glaze stone’ combined with botanic ash. Besides, the case study of the Middle East alkaline glaze has suggested that the Raqqa ware glaze was probably made by ‘Cenozoic sand’ containing a certain content of limestone grains and feldspar and that botanic ash was used as a flux.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Henderson, Julian
Loveluck, C.P.
Keywords: Tang Sancai lead glaze, Islamic splashed lead glaze, Yaozhou celadon glaze, Raqqa ware glaze, Northern China, the Middle East, chemical composition analysis, Pb isotopic analysis, Sr isotopic analysis
Subjects: C Auxiliary sciences of history > CC Archaeology
T Technology > TP Chemical technology > TP 785 Clay industries. Ceramics. Glass
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of Humanities
Item ID: 48201
Depositing User: Shen, Jingyi
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2017 12:45
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2017 03:00

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View