The use of red ochre for utilitarian, symbolic and artistic purposes is widely documented in prehistoric contexts. The absence of adequate red-coloured raw materials influenced the development of technological activities aimed at modifying the original physiochemical properties of yellow ochre. The heat treatment of goethite to obtain hematite was investigated in the western sector of the Lessini Mountains in north-east Italy, where red ochre was found in the (Proto)Aurignacian levels at Fumane cave and in the Late Epigravettian sequence at Tagliente rockshelter. The combination of X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) proved that heat treatment was a common practice in the studied archaeological sites due to the scarce availability of suitable hematite-based material in the region.

Heat Treatment of Mineral Pigment During the Upper Palaeolithic in North-East Italy / Cavallo, G.; Fontana, F.; Gialanella, S.; Gonzato, F.; Riccardi, M. P.; Zorzin, R.; Peresani, M.. - In: ARCHAEOMETRY. - ISSN 0003-813X. - STAMPA. - 60:5(2018), pp. 1045-1061. [10.1111/arcm.12360]

Heat Treatment of Mineral Pigment During the Upper Palaeolithic in North-East Italy

Cavallo G.;Fontana F.;Gialanella S.;
2018

Abstract

The use of red ochre for utilitarian, symbolic and artistic purposes is widely documented in prehistoric contexts. The absence of adequate red-coloured raw materials influenced the development of technological activities aimed at modifying the original physiochemical properties of yellow ochre. The heat treatment of goethite to obtain hematite was investigated in the western sector of the Lessini Mountains in north-east Italy, where red ochre was found in the (Proto)Aurignacian levels at Fumane cave and in the Late Epigravettian sequence at Tagliente rockshelter. The combination of X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) proved that heat treatment was a common practice in the studied archaeological sites due to the scarce availability of suitable hematite-based material in the region.
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Cavallo, G.; Fontana, F.; Gialanella, S.; Gonzato, F.; Riccardi, M. P.; Zorzin, R.; Peresani, M.
Heat Treatment of Mineral Pigment During the Upper Palaeolithic in North-East Italy / Cavallo, G.; Fontana, F.; Gialanella, S.; Gonzato, F.; Riccardi, M. P.; Zorzin, R.; Peresani, M.. - In: ARCHAEOMETRY. - ISSN 0003-813X. - STAMPA. - 60:5(2018), pp. 1045-1061. [10.1111/arcm.12360]
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