THIN-SECTION PETROGRAPHY IN STUDIES OF CULTURAL MATERIALS
CHANDRA L. REEDY
The primary applications of thin-section petrography to studies of cultural objects have been for simple characterization of materials and for provenance studies or technological reconstructions. Despite pioneering studies in the early 1940s that showed the enormous potential of thin-section petrography for studies of cultural materials, there has been rather limited application of this approach, leading petrography to be called “one of the most under-utilized analytical techniques of proven value” (Stoltman 1989, 147). The areas where this is most true have been studies of deterioration and the effects of conservation treatments. There is certainly room for greater development of this technique as a tool for the analysis of cultural materials.