Faience production methods include efflorescence, direct glaze application, and cementation glazing. However, similar processing has been used with a variety of other materials, such as glazed monolithic quartz, ground and re-fired faience, and steatite bodies. Furthermore, faience technology has been linked by similar processing to glass, synthetic pigment and glazing technologies. Here we reinforce these cross-craft relationships by comparing the range of similar functioning chemical elements in faience and glazed artifacts from a variety of archaeological sites that range from the Indus Valley to the Mediterranean. This broad comparative method based primarily on x-ray fluorescence analysis reveals trends in faience production, relationships with metallurgical technologies, and aspects of processing that provide areas of study that may be considered more closely in the future.
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Frame, L., DeSordao, D.B., Chiang, YC. et al. Methods of Faience Manufacture in Antiquity: Investigation of Colorants and Technological Processes. MRS Online Proceedings Library 1319, 906 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1557/opl.2011.927