Archaeological and instrumental analyses of pottery and wood from the 'Leudo' wreck of Varazze, Italy

Benente, Fabrizio and Zucchiatti, Alessandro and Fedi, Maria Elena and Cartocci, Agnese and Prati, Paolo and Martino, Gian Piero and Bracco, Carla (2006) Archaeological and instrumental analyses of pottery and wood from the 'Leudo' wreck of Varazze, Italy. Medieval ceramics, 30. pp. 61-72. ISSN 1358-2496

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The wreck of a small boat found in the Ligurian sea (north west of Italy), known as 'Leudo del Mercante', and its cargo of pottery represent a unique case study of ceramic provenance and dating that can help in providing further insight about the coastal trade performed by minor ships in the Mediterranean regions. In this paper we review archaeological investigations on pottery and present results of instrumental analyses both on the cargo and on parts of the wooden hull. Our aim is to confirm the origin of the pottery and to try to solve the fundamental issue of dating. Elemental analysis of pottery was performed using PIXE (Particle Induced X-ray Emission); dating of wood samples from the hull was performed by radiocarbon Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS). Both kinds of measurements were performed at the LABEC laboratory in Florence. The elemental composition of ceramic bodies shows that the pottery could have been produced in the area of Savona or Albisola, not far from the shipwreck site. With the detailed archaeological study of the cargo and using radiocarbon data, we can deduce that the boat was built, sailed and sunk most probably during the first half of the 16th century.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
Depositing User: dr Vincenzo De Luise
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2014 13:24
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2014 04:11


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