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Morteza Garavand, Somayeh Kazemi Dehaghi, Moloud Sadat Azimi,
Volume 1, Issue 1 (Fall 2017)

The medallion (Spherical) shape ceramic vessels, known as Fogha jars date back to early Islamic centuries. Theses ceramics are ordinary unglazed vessels, yet clearly distinct from other unglazed ceramics, in terms of their shape and formation and are easily detectable. These vessels have been discovered in the ancient sites of many Islamic countries including Iran, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Syria as well as Spain and India. The medallion (Spherical) shape ceramics are completely backed and have a compact texture to the extent that they are not easy to break. In fact, the vessel’s body is very thick compare to their size and this makes them very heavy as well. The structures and the compounds of this type of ceramics, discovered in the cultural layers of several sites, are not still clear; therefore, a comprehensive study on these ceramics not only requires the cultural and archeological knowledge but also the physical and chemical analyses. Regarding the cultural significance of the mentioned ceramics and their unique features, the present study aims in studying these medallion (Spherical) shape ceramic vessels by means of precise scientific criteria and high standards. To this aim, after the general description of the ceramics, their physical and chemical properties were also evaluated by means of several laboratory methods and analytical devices in order to reach a morphological perspective of the ceramics in terms of their components, techniques and methods of manufacturing. The samples were analyzed via XRF elemental analysis and X-ray photography to identify the types of compounds and the firing technique. The physical features are also evaluated via hardness, density, porosity tests etc.

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