Chai, ZF (reprint author), Chinese Acad Sci, Inst High Energy Phys, Lab Nucl Analyt Tech, POB 918, Beijing 100039, Peoples R China.
Many kinds of Tang Sancai specimens were excavated in the Shaanxi and Henan Provinces. However, the provenances of some kinds of Tang Sancai have not been well identified until now. In order to group the Tang Sancai specimens of the unknown provenance to the respective kilns according to their chemical compositions, we studied the element abundance patterns of different kiln's Tang Sancai samples by Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA). Our experimental results indicate that the differences of the element abundance pattern of the studied specimens from different kilns are significant. The separation is clear on the basis of factor analysis mainly using the contents of 13 elements, i.e. Ce, Nd, Eu, Yb, Lu, Ta, Th, Sc, Cs, La, Sm, U and Tb. The composition database of the Tang Sancai body samples from different kilns has been set up and can be used for the identification of the unknown Tang Sancai samples. The result also implies that similar raw materials have been used for Tang Sancai production at different kilns and the technical exchange between those kilns during the period of Tang Dynasty. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.