Advances in ceramic radiography and analysis: Laboratory methods

Christopher Carr, Earle B. Riddick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The major variants of industrial and medical radiographic procedures are reviewed and evaluated for their usefulness in ceramic archaeological studies, with attention to documenting temper characteristics and paste-to-paste joins. Essential concepts and relationships between technique and image quality are summarized. Means for optimizing image sharpness, distortion, and contrast are outlined, including selection of focal spot size, focal spot to film distance, object to film distance, film type, object orientation, kilovoltage, milliamperage, tube source, window, filtration, film cassette material, and diaphragms, and the differing integration of these in medical versus industrial laboratory settings. Low radiographic contrast between temper and paste or paste-to-paste joins can be overcome by using industrial, slow, high-detail, high-contrast films or certain mammography films without intensifying screens, along with a low kilovoltage. The relative advantages of xeroradiography and X-radiography are evaluated. Charts for estimating proper X-radiographic exposure for sherds of differing thickness and temper density and other suggestions for operation and efficiency are given.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-66
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1990


  • Ceramic Technology
  • Ceramic Temper
  • Ohio Woodland Period
  • X-radiography
  • Xeroradiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology


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