Petrography

Petrographic analysis involves the microscopic examination of thin-sections of pottery sherds (fragments) for the purpose of identifying their mineral composition. This type of analysis provides clues to where pottery was made and/or where the raw materials used in manufacture came from.

petrography sherds

This magnified thin-section, as observed through the lens of an optical microscope, shows the constitutent mineral components of an ancient pottery sherd (thin-section photo courtesy Kari Schleher).

Learn more:

Read about a petrographic analysis of Pueblo pottery in the Rio Grande valley of New Mexico (book excerpt available through Academia.edu).