Ceramic vessel 55. Cueva de la Lobera

Ceramic vessel from the third terrace of the Iberian santuary Cueva de la Lobera (Castellar, Jaén, Spain). Oxidising and reducing atmosphere. Decoration with red semicircles on grey background. The red colour is manufactured using hematite (Fe2O3) in high concentration (17.90% wt of Fe according to EDXRF analysis). The use of an extra amount of iron ore to be added to the clay mix used for decoration is proposed. The grey background is the result of the transformation of hematite in magnetite (Fe3O4) in a reducing atmosphere. EDXFR analysis confirms the presence of Fe (7.03% wt) and the lack of Mn (0.01% wt) in the grey decoration.

New product


: 6 Centimeters

: 8 Centimeters




: Iberians, Iberian

: 4th-3rd ct. BC


: Cueva de la Lobera

: Castellar, Jaén, Spain

: WGS84



Creative Commons - Attribution, Non-Commercial, No Derivatives (BY-NC-ND)


Risquez, C., Rueda, C., Nicolini, G. Ruiz, A. Zafra, N. y Esteban, C. (2015): “El Santuario de Cueva de la Lobera de Castellar”, en A. Ruiz y M. Molinos (coord.): Jaén, tierra ibera: 40 años de investigación y transferencia. Universidad de Jaén. 203-218.

Nicolini, G., Risquez, C., Ruiz, A., Zafra, N. (2004): El santuario ibérico de Castellar, Jaén. Intervenciones arqueológicas 1966-1991. Junta de Andalucía. Sevilla.

Patrimonio Inmueble de Andalucía. Cueva de la Lobera


Digital Resources


Archaeometric analysis

Physical-chemical analysis

Ceramic. Analysis of decoration

University Research Center for Iberian Archaeology

Raman Microscopy

Mineral analysis of the red decoration

Non destructive. Surface cleaning. Sample pretreatment is not required. Direct measurement.

Micro-Raman Spectroscopy (MRS)

Renishaw ‘in via’ Reflex Spectrometer coupled with a confocal Leica DM LM microscope (CICT, University of Jaén), equipped with a diode laser (785 nm, 300 mW), and a Peltier-cooled CCD detector, calibrated to the 520.5 cm-1 line of silicon.

X-Ray Fluorescence

Elemental analysis of the grey decoration

Non destructive. Surface cleaning. Sample pretreatment is not required. Direct measurement.

Energy dispersive X- ray fluorescence (EDXRF)

EDAX (model Eagle III) fluorescence spectrometer (CITI, University of Seville). This spectrometer is equipped with a microfocus X-ray tube with an Rh anode, a polycapillary lens for X-ray focussing, and an 80 mm2 energy dispersive Si-(Li) detector. The sample chamber incorporates an XYZ motorized stage for sample positioning. A high resolution microscope is used to position the sample on the desired distance from the polycapillary. To increase the sensitivity of the low Z elements, the sample chamber can be brought under vacuum. For the analysis of the samples, a spot size of 300 μm was chosen at an operating X-ray tube voltage of 40 kV. The tube current was adapted for each sample in order to optimise the detection of X-rays.


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