The kilns at Morgantina, site of the well-known excavations in central Sicily, are an outstanding example of multiple potters’ workshops in use during the late Hellenistic period. In fully documenting these ten kilns, excavated between 1955 and 1963, Ninina Cuomo di Caprio offers both a representative cross-section of the physical setting of ceramic production in this ancient Greek city and evidence for its daily industrial activity. She includes detailed plans and section drawings of each kiln and formulates hypotheses on its operation in light of modern thermodynamics. The text, which is in Italian, is preceded by an English-language summary. Cuomo di Caprio’s archaeological study of the kiln structures and their ceramic products is supplemented by such diagnostic tools as thermoluminescence analysis, neutron activation analysis, X-ray diffraction, and optical examination by polarizing microscope. Opening an entirely new window into the everyday working practices of the Morgantina potters, this study demonstrates that they operated at a very sophisticated level: selecting and purifying specific clays, and adding certain materials to manipulate their working and firing characteristics.
Originally published in 1992.
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