Industrial Minerals in Antiquity in the Aegean

Industrial Minerals in Antiquity in the Aegean

The Earths of the Aegean

The Earths of the Aegean

For the past  20 years Effie Photos-Jones, Allan J Hall,  their colleagues and students at Glasgow Archaeology, have been seeking to locate the Earths of the Aegean, the pigments, the mordants, the washing powders but also the medicinals, within some of the islands that bear their names. These earths could be thought today as the industrial minerals of antiquity because of their many and diverse applications. They were the Samian, the Lemnian, the Kimolian, the Melian earths (all layered silicates) but also alum (Melos) (aluminium sulphates), sulphur (Melos) and miltos (Kea) (fine iron oxides). We have also tried to establish how they were processed in antiquity and later periods.

Case studies are carried out on the Aegean islands of Melos, Kea and Samos and Lemnos.  Relevant publications are given for each area.

Contacts


Publications

  • Photos-Jones, E., Cottier, A,  Hall, A.J. & Mendoni, L.G. 1997. Kean Miltos: the well-known iron oxides of antiquity.  The Annual of British School at Athens92, 359-371 and colour plate B.
  • Photos-Jones, E., Hall, A.J., Atkinson, J.A., Tompsett, G., Cottier, A. and Sanders, G.D.R.  1999. The Aghia Kyriaki, Melos, Survey: prospecting for the elusive earths in the Roman period in the Aegean.  The Annual of the British School at Athens.  94.  377-413.
  • McNulty, Arbory Elizabeth  2000. Industrial Minerals in Antiquity: Melos in the Classical and Roman Periods.   Unpubl. PhD. Thesis. Department of Archaeology and Division of Earth Sciences.  University of Glasgow.
  • Atkinson, J.A. and Photos-Jones, E. 2001. Atkinson 2001‌A site with a 'special purpose': mining activity on Melos in the Late Roman Period.  In: J.E. Fell, P.D. Nicolaou and G.D. Xydous, 5th International Mining History Congress, 12-15 Sept 2000, Milos Island, Greece: Book of Proceedings. Milos Conference Center - George Eliopoulos. 77-85.
  • Hansom, J.D., Hall, A.J. and Photos-Jones, E. 2001. Hansom et al 2001‌Rapid environmental change during industrial minerals exploitation in the Aegean: the case of Roman Aghia Kyriaki, Melos, Greece. In: J.E. Fell, P.D. Nicolaou and G.D. Xydous, 5th International Mining History Congress, 12-15 Sept 2000, Milos Island, Greece: Book of Proceedings. Milos Conference Center - George Eliopoulos. 92-100.
  • McNulty, A. and Hall, A.J. 2001. McNulty & Hall 2001‌Divine Theion: the exploitation of sulphur in Melos and Italy. In: J.E. Fell, P.D. Nicolaou and G.D. Xydous, 5th International Mining History Congress, 12-15 Sept 2000, Milos Island, Greece: Book of Proceedings. Milos Conference Center - George Eliopoulos. 86-91.
  • Hall, A.J., Fallick, A.E., Perdikatsis, V. and Photos-Jones, E. 2003. A model for the origin of aluminium-rich efflorescences near fumaroles, Melos, Greece: enhanced weathering in a geothermal setting.  Mineralogical Magazine. 67. 363-379.
  • Hall, A.J., Photos-Jones, E., McNulty, A., Turner, D. and McRobb, A. 2003. Geothermal activity at the archaeological site of Aghia Kyriaki and its significance to Roman industrial mineral exploitation on Melos, Greece.   Geoarchaeology. 18. 333-357.
  • Hall, A.J. and Photos-Jones, E. 2005. The nature of Melian alumen and its potential for exploitation in antiquity. In: Borgard, P., Brun, J-P. and Picon, M. (Eds) L'Alun de Meditérranée. Colloque International, Naples, Lipari juin 2003. Naples, Aix-en-Provence: Centre Jean Bérard. 77-84.
  • Photos-Jones, E. and Hall, A.J. 2011Lemnian Earth and the earths of the Aegean. An archaeological guide to medicines‌. 141 pages; illustrated in full colour throughout. Glasgow: Potingair Press.ISBN 9780956824004.
  • Photos-Jones, E. and Hall, A.J. 2014Eros, mercator and the cultural landscape of Melos in antiquity: The archaeology‌. 261 pages; illustrated in full colour throughout. Glasgow: Potingair Press. ISBN 9780956824011.

Photos-Jones, E., and Hall, A. (2010) Stypteria phorime as alunogen in solution: possible pointer to the gradual cooling of the Melos geothermal system. Hellenic Journal of Geosciences, 45, pp. 117-226.

Hall, A., and Photos-Jones, E. (2008) Accessing past beliefs and practices: the case of Lemnian Earth. Archaeometry, 50(6), pp. 1034-1049. (doi:10.1111/j.1475-4754.2007.00377.x)

Photos-Jones, E., and Hall, A. J. (2014) Lemnian Earth, alum and astringency: a field based approach. In: Michaelides, D. (ed.)Medicine and Healing in the Ancient Mediterranean World. Oxbow Books: Oxford, pp. 183-189. ISBN 9781782972358

Hall, A., and Photos-Jones, E. (2009) The juice of the pomegranate: quality control for the processing and distribution of alumen in antiquity and making sense of Pliny’s Phorimon and Paraphoron.In: Shortland, A.J., Freestone, I. and Rehren, T. (eds.) From Mine to Microscope: Advances in the Study of Ancient Technology. Oxbow Books: Oxford, UK, pp. 197-206. ISBN 9781842172599