Investigation on Roman lead glaze from Canosa: Results of chemical analyses

G. E. De Benedetto*, P. Acquafredda, M. Masieri, G. Quarta, L. Sabbatini, P. G. Zambonin, M. Tite, M. Walton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Five sherds of green glazed pottery excavated at Canosa (Apulia) in Italy have been analysed by scanning electron microscopy. The aim of the investigation was to determine the chemical composition of the glazes and thus obtain information on the methods used in their production. The glazes were all of the high-lead type, coloured green by the addition of copper. Intermediate layers, observed at the interface between the glaze and body and giving the appearance of an applied white slip, were the result of the crystallization of lead feldspar from the molten glaze. Non-calcareous clays were used in the production of the pottery bodies. Concentration profiles from the glaze exterior to the body suggested that the glazes were produced by applying a suspension consisting of lead oxide plus silica to the bodies. On the basis of the glaze and body compositions, it is suggested that the Canosa glazed pottery was produced locally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-624
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2004


  • Apulia
  • Chemical characterization
  • Copper
  • Italy
  • Lead glazes
  • Pottery
  • Production technology
  • Roman
  • Scanning electron microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Archaeology

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