Raw material characteristics and technological properties of some medieval glazed ceramics and tiles in Anatolia

Demirci S., Caner-Saltik E., Turkmenoglu A., Ozcilingir-Akgun S., Bakirer O.

EURO CERAMICS VIII, PTS 1-3, pp.2395-2398, 2004 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Journal Name: EURO CERAMICS VIII, PTS 1-3
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED)
  • Page Numbers: pp.2395-2398
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


Byzantine and Seljuk cultures are two important overlapping periods in Anatolia during medieval times. Both cultures had special significance in the production of glazed pottery. In architecture, Seljuk culture had further expanded the use of ceramics as glazed tiles in the buildings. The Seljuk glazed tiles were mainly of mosaic and plain tile types. Only monochrome opaque turquoise and monochrome transparent violet-black coloured tiles were examined in this study. The pottery pieces studied represent the deep bowls with fine sgrafitto decorations coming from three archaeological sites namely Ephesus-Byzantine, Iznik-mixed and Korucutepe-Seljuk sites. The potsherds and tiles were analysed to determine the characteristics of body, slip and glaze parts in terms of raw materials composition and firing temperature using various analytical techniques. In addition, the physical properties and the ultrasonic velocity values of the body parts were examined. The results show that tiles are more porous, less dense and have lower ultrasonic velocity values than those of pottery bodies. Tile bodies have moderately vitrified matrix with large sized (similar to500 mum) particles of quartz added as temper and composed of low-calcareous clay. Temper aggregates do not seem to be used in the potteries.In the tiles, there is no slip between glaze and the body. Monochrome black glaze is alkaline glaze. Manganese and iron are the efficient elements in the development of violet-black tones. The monochrome turquoise glaze is tin-opacified lead-alkali glaze, copper being the efficient element in turquoise colour. The potteries were all glazed over a slip having an illitic clay composition together with quartz. Potteries from Ephesus Byzantine site are high lead glazes, while the ones from Korucutepe Seljuk site are lead alkali glazes. Iron is the efficient element in the colouring of yellow, honey and brown coloured glazes while iron and copper are the efficient elements in the colouring of green glazes.