Archaeometry is the generic term for all scientific methods that are used to clarify archaeological and sometimes historical questions. A great deal of information about the life cycle of ceramics can be extracted from fragments from archaeological excavations using chemical and physical methods: from the origin of the clay, the manufacturing technique and traces from the time of use to changes during storage in the ground and after discovery. The production method and the structure of valuable historical artifacts can also be discovered using high-resolution X-ray systems.
For archeology, the x-raying of finds is an important part of restoration measures. The digital x-ray inspection enables the archaeologist to identify a wide variety of finds. In the case of heavily corroded or encrusted objects in particular, it serves as a basis for decisions about further restoration measures, since decorations and manufacturing techniques can be demonstrated very well.
An example is given by the "Buocher Feinware". In Buoch, a district of Remshalden, Germany, tons of ceramic shards were found during construction in 1980. A closer investigation indicated a production period from the 12th to the 14th century. A wide variety of vessels were made, including miniature figures like those of a horse, see picture left, probably to enjoy the prince and princess.
At that time, Buoch was under the rule of the emperors of Hohenstaufen and dukes of Württemberg. The pottery was most likely brought to Waiblingen in the imperial castel and traded from there. Therefore, the "Buocher Feinware" has a wide distribution. In order to be able to assign samples to this ceramic, the clay structure is also of interest. Therefore, as an example, a handle of a jug was X-rayed (Instrument settings: VoxelSizeX = 0.0406205555555556, NumProjections = 1520, ExposureTime="0.125", NAverage="10", Voltage="70", Current="500").