Ancient Technologies: The Egyptian Sintered-Quartz Ceramics

PHILICA Article number 426

10 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2016

Date Written: September 14, 2014


To physicists and engineers, ceramics represent materials demonstrating excellent strength and hardness, materials that can serve as electrical insulators or conductors, some of them being able of a high-temperature superconductivity. To researchers working in archaeology and art history, ceramics mean objects such as figurines, tiles and tableware helping understanding cultures and technologies of the past. They are among the most common artifacts to be found in archaeological sites, because made of an imperishable material. Then, ceramics are for interdisciplinary studies the subjects by excellence. Here we will discuss the Egyptian faience, a ceramic based on sintered-quartz materials, an old high-tech material that allows creating objects which have glossy surfaces with lustre of various blue-green colours. This paper shows how faience had been produced and discusses some methods used for its analysis.

Keywords: Ceramics, Egyptian Faience, Ancient Technologies, Archaeometry, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Xeroradiography, Raman Spectroscopy, Synchrotron radiation micro-computed tomography

Suggested Citation

Sparavigna, Amelia Carolina, Ancient Technologies: The Egyptian Sintered-Quartz Ceramics (September 14, 2014). PHILICA Article number 426. Available at SSRN:

Amelia Carolina Sparavigna (Contact Author)

Polytechnic University of Turin ( email )

Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24
Torino, Torino 10129

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