Archaeology, Archaeology Conferences

ISA 2012 Leuven (Day 4 – Ceramics, Glazes, Vitreous Materials and Glass 1)

  1. I’m currently at the 39th International Symposium on Archaeometry in Leuven, Belgium,
    where I have a poster to present. I’ll be writing a proper conference
    review when I return, but in the mean time I’ll be making informal
    collections of the tweets and discussing the conference here on a daily
    basis. There are also collections from Monday (Stone, Plaster, Pigments, Chronologies), Tuesday (Metals and Metallurgical Ceramics) and Wednesday (Biomaterials and Bioarchaeology).
  2. ISA2012Leuven
    Prof Martin Aitken asked the ISA Gazette to make a specific reference to Lord Cherwell, the inventor of the first dedicated archaometry lab.
  3. An innovation this year was the ISA Gazette, a daily publication with news on the coming day’s lectures, events and an interview with an established researcher. It was well received and I hope to see it again next conference.
  4. ISA2012Leuven
    We, at #ISA2012Leuven are having a fab conference and hope that you are too. We have had an amazing range of speakers.
  5. The ceramics sessions, which have had their own day in the past, were spread out over two days with sessions on both Thursday and Friday. The Glass sessions were also spread over the two days, which lead to a bit of a disjointed feel to the days.
  6. wallerpottery
    Ceramics & glass are topics today at #ISA2012Leuven #Archaeometry conference – lots of interesting research. Follow @RuthFT’s live-tweeting!
  7. The first session of the day was Ceramics 1, convened by Josefina Perez-Arantegui.
  8. RuthFT
    First paper this morning is Christina Makarona et al looking at Sr isotope provenancing of ceramics #Isa2012Leuven
  9. RuthFT
    @bonesdonotlie got a quote at beginning of #Isa2012Leuven presentation by Makarona: Sr as hot archaeology
  10. Christina was talking about using strontium as a disambiguation element, and whilst I don’t know that much about strontium isotopic studies, it’s been clear over this ISA 2012 and 2010 that isotopic analysis is a big deal in archaeometry at the moment.
  11. RuthFT
    Makarona has a really good presentation style. She’s part of the NARNIA project #Isa2012Leuven
  12. RuthFT
    Gilstrap et al present a paper on variability in production of Late Micenean Bronze Age #Isa2012Leuven
  13. RuthFT
    Now Anno Hein et al with a paper on amphora production in Hellenistic Rhodes #Isa2012Leuven
  14. Anno was trying to build up a body of evidence on the breakage qualities of pottery in order to comment on archaeological evidence of damage to amphora, presumably to try and discuss how any were broken in transit, storage, etc.
  15. freddiefoulds
    Hah! “@LeMoustier: MT @RuthFT: Conference paper humour: “At least in the Hellenistic period #Greece had an export surplus” #Isa2012Leuven””
  16. RuthFT
    Next up is Lorena Carla Giannosa et al presenting on the technological features of thin-walled Venusian ware #Isa2012Leuven
  17. RuthFT
    Giannossa’s paper uses a thorough range of tehcniques: op mic, SEM, XRF, petrography, and LA ICP MS #Isa2012Leuven
  18. RuthFT
    Looks like the thin walled pots of Pompeii and Herculaneum have same two types/suppliers. #Isa2012Leuven
  19. After coffee break we returned for a five paper session on Glazed Ceraics and Vitreous Materials convened by Yona Waksan.
  20. RuthFT
    Back from coffee for Marianna Acquaviva et al on lead-tin gazed southern Italian ceramics of 13-16th C. #Isa2012Leuven
  21. RuthFT
    Now Rui Wen on similarity in pigments between 12th C Arabic and Chinese wares #Isa2012Leuven
  22. The conclusions of this paper were particularly interesting as it was suggested that both blue wares utilised cobalt colourants which may have originated from the same Qamsar village in Asia.
  23. Sasefazad
    RT @RuthFT: Now for UCL PhD candidate Maninder Singh Gill presenting a study of medieval Islamic glazed tiles from N India #Isa2012Leuven
  24. wallerpottery
    Ooh. RT @RuthFT Now the rather famous Mike Tite etal with new data on soda flux used in Iznik gazes of Islamic 15th C pottery #Isa2012Leuven
  25. Mike’s work suggested that the area which provided soda for these glazes was located near a borate deposit.
  26. RuthFT
    Western Anatolian glazes use a distinct flux with high B and Li content, not sure if ash or evaporate #Isa2012Leuven
  27. RuthFT
    And the final paper before lunch (tricky!) is Marino Maggetti on high Mg 18th C faience in Germany #Isa2012Leuven
  28. In tis paper Marino talked about the establishment of a faience factory and how analysis of the wares supported the idea that the director of the factory was far more experienced with painting and glazes than with production of the actual pottery.
  29. RuthFT
    I personally love the idea of an Abbot-Prince (founder of faience factory), what a contradiction! #Isa2012Leuven
  30. After lunch there was an hour-long poster session. Unfortunately there was not much room in the space assigned for posters and things were a little cramped, making it difficult to get round and see the large numbers of posters on display.
  31. ISA2012Leuven
    RT @RuthFT: We are embarking on poster session 2 here at #Isa2012Leuven : afternoon sessions pick up at 3pm.
  32. There were two posters using QR codes allowing people to download copies of their posters. Whilst I have mixed feelings about QR codes themselves, it was great to be able to download the poster and read it somewhere quiet away from the buzz of the hall. A few people remarked on twitter of the value of being able to read the poster and interact with the conference despite being hundreds of miles away. If you’re happy to share your work, it’s definately worth making your poster downloadable – whether using a normal web link or QR code.
  33. amphinitum
    “@RuthFT: There’s someone using QR codes here! #Isa2012Leuven Roberta Mentesana presents on Crete pottery ISA.pdf” very cool!
  34. I was most interested in the posters detailing experimental archaeology, of which there were a number.
  35. EAconferenceUK
    Lucy Cheesman also has a poster at #Isa2012Leuven on the use of pXrf and other techniques to look at smithing sites.
  36. RuthFT
    RT @EAconferenceUK: Poster #Isa2012Leuven by Aurelie Brodard etal on replicating Bronze Age hearths to estimate intensity of use.
  37. EAconferenceUK
    Aurelie also has one on using experiment to understand the reddening of the Chauvet Cave walls. #Isa2012Leuven
  38. EAconferenceUK
    Artemi Chaviara of Thetis Authentics in Athens is presenting a poster at #Isa2012Leuven on PIXE analysis and replication of Attic ware |R
  39. An hour goes by very quickly when trying to battle queues and find time to talk to people. There were no calls made to indicate the start of the next session though, so people often turned up late to the first session after the posters and coffee breaks.
  40. EAconferenceUK
    First paper of afternoon at #Isa2012Leuven is Esme Hammerle etal Sr isotopes in ancient Egyptian faience: she also presented at #exparch6 |R
  41. #Exparch6 refers to the 6th Experimental Archaeology Conference UK, a conference series which runs annually in January and encompasses all experimental archaeological work, from scientific work like Esme’s to experiential and replication work.
  42. wallerpottery
    Just presented at #ISA2012Leuven: “Technological change or consistency: Strontium isotope analysis of Egyptian faience beads”
  43. The post-lunch session was Glass 1, convened by Michael Tite. This included ancient faiences.
  44. RuthFT
    Esme’s work is on beads from Abydos, and again we’re looking at flux variations reflected in trace elements #Isa2012Leuven
  45. RuthFT
    Now Marc Walton presents analyses indicating that Egypt was not the only source of cobalt in the late Bronze Age #Isa2012Leuven
  46. Katherine presented a paper for which Marc Walton was first author (hence the confusion), which challenged some of the current established thought on the trade in cobalt colourants during the Late Bronze Age. Cobalt is important because it gives a very deep, attractive blue colour in glasses, glazes and enamels which cannot be replicated by other colourants.
  47. RuthFT
    Visually these near eastern blue glasses emulate lapis lazuli, possibly made on small scale #Isa2012Leuven
  48. The idea of glass, tiles and faience emulating precious stones is an established concept in the study of ancient material, though difficult to generate hard evidence for.
  49. RuthFT
    Now onto Dieter Brems etal on using Nd isotopes to proxy for silica sources, difficulties of Sr isotopes for lime sourcing #Isa2012Leuven
  50. Dieter and his colleagues presented a number of analyses of beach sands around the northern Mediterranean, which may help narrowing down the centre(s) of Roman period glassmaking. There were also a number of posters on related work from other members of this research group.
  51. RuthFT
    Last before coffee: Monica Ganio etal on characterising Roman glass between west, central and eastern regions #Isa2012Leuven
  52. It is generally accepted that Roman period glass production took place in one/a few really large production centres, and Monica’s work on the Nd isotopic ratios supported this idea.
  53. wallerpottery
    RT @RuthFT: Marvin Cummings etal discuss the addition of potassium-containing compounds to clay for attic red figure slips #Isa2012Leuven
  54. After coffee break we returned to ceramics, with the Ceramics 2 session convened by Marino Maggetti.
  55. RuthFT
    Athenians purposefully manipulated clays for slips in different ways to body clays #ISA2012Leuven
  56. RuthFT
    Yona Waksman now presents on Byzantine ceramic studies at the Lyon laboratory of ceramics #ISA2012Leuven
  57. Yona argued that the decorative elements that typologies are often built on are actually less important for grouping and discussing the archaeological meaning of these pieces in distinguishing ceramics than the evidence for where they were made, what they were made of and what period they were made in.
  58. RuthFT
    Last paper of the day is Carmen Ting talking about how elite ceramic production continued after the Maya ‘collapse’ #ISA2012Leuven
  59. The Conference Dinner was absolutely fantastic. It was held in what I believe was the old academic faculty club for Leuven University, a beautiful set of halls which had recently been decorated to a very high level. The evening began with canapes and drinks in the gardens before sitting inside for a three course meal that included some excellent food and wine. I think everyone was quite impressed with the standard of the dinner, and we were really glad we had chosen to go.
  60. After the dinner we all moved back to the centre of town to enjoy a long night of celebrations which continued long into the small hours of Friday!

2 thoughts on “ISA 2012 Leuven (Day 4 – Ceramics, Glazes, Vitreous Materials and Glass 1)”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s