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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
R. López-Valenzuela
J. López-Palacios
M. Jiménez-Reyes
G. Cataño
, and
D. Tenorio


Thirteen Teotihuacan-style ornaments of an incense burner were studied. Ceramic pastes, pigments and mica were analyzed by neutron activation, X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. Elemental (Sc, Cr, Fe, Co, Rb, Cs, La, Ce, Nd, Sm, Eu, Tb, Yb, Lu, Hf, Th and U) and statistical analyses of ceramic-body data showed that these pieces were made from the same raw material, which is chemically different from the fine orange ceramic of Teotihuacan. Montmorillonite and the classical components of sand were the minerals identified in the ceramic pastes. The white pigment contained calcium, titanium and aluminium, the yellow pigment was ocher, and the red pigment was a mixture of red ocher and cinnabar, the binder of the pigments being clay. Exoskeletons of diatoms and locust ootecs were found in the pigments. Mica was identified as biotite, identical with that coming from Monte Alban Oaxaca. We wish to undertake a historical reconstrution of these ornaments based on archaeometric and literature data.

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