Article

Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

, Volume 298, Issue 1, pp 133-145

Determination of phase compositions in ceramics from Gobi desert using complementary diffraction techniques

  • R. GillesAffiliated withTechnische Universität München, Forschungs-Neutronenquelle Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II), ZWE Email author 
  • , I. M. SiourisAffiliated withDepartment of Production and Management Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace
  • , W. KockelmannAffiliated withRutherford Appleton Laboratory, STFC
  • , D. VisserAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, Loughborough University
  • , S. KatsavounisAffiliated withDepartment of Production and Management Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace
  • , J. M. WalterAffiliated withGeowissenschaftliches Zentrum der Universität Göttingen
  • , M. HoelzelAffiliated withTechnische Universität München, Forschungs-Neutronenquelle Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II), ZWE
  • , M. BrunelliAffiliated withEuropean Synchrotron Radiation FacilityInstitut Laue Langevin

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Abstract

The city Khara Khoto is located in the Gobi desert in Inner Mongolia. This city was deserted in the late 14th century and rediscovered in the beginning of the 20th century. In the present study, ceramic sherds typical for the Khara Khoto area have been analysed using neutrons, laboratory X-ray diffraction, synchrotron radiation X-ray diffraction as well as optical microscopy as complementary probes in extracting information on the mineral phase compositions as well as on the firing conditions during the pottery production. The data evaluation was performed with the standard diffraction analysis package GSAS and the new developed program AmPhOrAe. The dominating phase is mullite (~60 %) compared to a variable mixture of SiO2 quartz and cristobalite phases (~35 %) and feldspar as a minority phase. Refiring experiments on one of the sherds allow estimating the firing temperatures of the ceramics within the region of 1,150 and 1,250 °C.

Keywords

Pottery sherds Phase transformation Neutron diffraction Synchrotron diffraction Optical microscopy