This paper is part of a systematic archaeometric investigation aimed at the characterisation of the pigments and related materials (ligand, colour substrate) used in decoration of pottery excavated in the archaeological zone of Canosa (Puglia, Italy). Shards found in thirteen different tombs have been analysed; in this paper samples exhibiting a white colouration have been selected. Both surface (XPS) and bulk (FT-IR) spectroscopies were used which gave complementary information and enabled white pigments to be divided into two groups. Moreover, X-ray diffraction was used in some cases to further support some spectral assignments. The molecular specificity of FT-IR, when applied to the analysis of both pigments and ceramic body, allowed the identification of the various constituents and, hence, provided indirect information on the end-use of the original wares. The potential of the combined use of different spectroscopies to obtain valuable information on both painting materials and technical aspects is shown.
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