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Title: A multi-analytical characterization of 14th-18th century pottery from the Kongo kingdom, Central Africa
Authors: Tsoupras, A.
Clist, B.
Lopes, M.C.
Moita, P.
Barrulas, P.
Jesus, M.
Domingos, S.
Bostoen, K.
Mirão, J.
Keywords: na
Issue Date: 15-Jun-2022
Publisher: Scientific Reports
Citation: Tsoupra, A., Clist, B., da Conceição Lopes, M. et al. A multi-analytical characterization of fourteenth to eighteenth century pottery from the Kongo kingdom, Central Africa. Sci Rep 12, 9943 (2022).
Abstract: Pottery traditions refect the socioeconomic framework of past cultures, while the spatial distribution of pottery indicates exchange patterns and interaction processes. Material and earth sciences are employed here to determine raw material sourcing, selection and processing. The Kongo kingdom, internationally renowned since the late ffteenth century, is one of the most famous precolonial states in Central Africa. Despite the large number of historical studies relying on African and European oral and written chronicles, there are still considerable gaps in our current understanding of thispolitical unit. Here, we provide new insights into pottery production and circulation within the Kongo kingdom. Implementing a multi-analytical approach, namely XRD, TGA, petrographic analysis, XRF, VP-SEM-EDS and ICP-MS, on selected samples, we determined their petrographic, mineralogical and geochemical signatures. Our results allowed us to correlate the archaeological objects to naturally occurring materials and to establish ceramic traditions. We identifed production templates, exchange patterns, distribution of high-quality goods and interaction processes through technological knowledge transmission. Our results demonstrate that political centralisation in the Lower Congo region of Central Africa had a direct impact on pottery production and circulation. We expect our study to provide a sound basis for further comparative research to contextualise the region.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:HERCULES - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais Com Arbitragem Científica

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