The origin of the clays of the Roman crucibles from Augusta Raurica (Augst, Switzerland). A study with field and museum work using portable analysis pXRF

by Alex Furger and Markus Helfert – an open access publication promoted by LIBRUM P&E

The project involved analysing 893 Roman crucibles for non-ferrous alloys from Augusta Raurica (Switzerland) using laboratory and portable devices. This resulted in the identification of 5 clay groups, which were compared to 60 reference groups from the surrounding area. Most of the crucible clays came from 2 clay deposits, one of which was located nearby, while the other was situated 50 km away in the Jura region.

The metals casted show a large variety of bronze- and brass-alloys, due to scrap-recycling. Brass making by cementation could be proved in many crucibles.

The crucibles were composed of two layers: a wheel made core of fired ceramic and a lutum layer made of local materials applied to the exterior (and sometimes a thin engobe applied to the interior). In the casting process, the mechanically stabilising and insulating lutum swelled up and vitrified considerably.

Available open-access only.


Autor/en Alex Furger, Markus Helfert
Format: A4
Verlagsort Basel
Jahr: 2023
Sprache/n English
Preis (CHF) free CHF
Preis (EUR) free EUR
DOI: 10.19218/3906897929