Reverse Engineering the Physical Chemistry of Making Egyptian Faience through Compositional Analysis of the Cementation Process
AuthorPina, Magnum Leo
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe cementation process of making Egyptian faience, reported by Hans Wulfffrom a workshop in Qom, Iran, has not been easy to replicate and various views have been set forth to understand the transport of materials from the glazing powder to the surfaces of the crushed quartz beads. Replications of the process fired to 950° C and under-fired to 850° C were characterized by electron beam microprobe analysis (EPMA), petrographic thin section analysis, and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive x-ray analysis (SEM-EDS). Chemical variations were modeled using thermal data, phase diagrams, and copper vaporization experiments. These replications were compared to 52 examples from various collections, including 20th century ethnographic collections of beads, glazing powder and plant ash, 12th century CE beads and glazing powder from Fustat (Old Cairo), Egypt, and to an earlier example from Abydos, Egypt in the New Kingdom and to an ash example from the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Materials Science & Engineering