Technical developments[ edit ] In the context of Chinese ceramics, the term porcelain lacks a universally accepted definition see above. This in turn has led to confusion about when the first Chinese porcelain was made. Kiln technology has always been a key factor in the development of Chinese pottery. These were updraft kilns, often built below ground.
Chinese ceramics - Wikipedia
Scientific Authentication of Chinese Ceramics There are currently two main methods used for scientific authentication of ceramics available: Thermoluminescence Dating Spectrometric Analysis Most authentication of antique Chinese porcelain and pottery is currently done by visual inspection, which not only requires a vast knowledge but also many years of experience. Scientific methods are available but not widely used. Partially this is probably due to the relatively high cost involved. It may not be a good idea to do a scientific analysis costing more than the item itself. However, fakers also have found methods to defeat these scientific authentication methods.
The thermoluminescence technique is the only physical means of determining the absolute age of pottery presently available. It is an absolute dating method, and does not depend on comparison with similar objects as does obsidian hydration dating, for example. Most mineral materials, including the constituents of pottery, have the property of thermoluminescence TL , where part of the energy from radioactive decay in and around the mineral is stored in the form of trapped electrons and later released as light upon strong heating as the electrons are detrapped and combine with lattice ions.
This is useful for ceramics, as it determines the date of firing, as well as for lava, or even sediments that were exposed to substantial sunlight. These crystalline solids are constantly subjected to ionizing radiation from their environment, which causes some energized electrons to become trapped in defects in the molecular crystal structure. An input of energy, such as heat, is required to free these trapped electrons. When a specimen is reheated, the trapped energy is released in the form of light thermoluminescence as the electrons escape.