pottery


pottery
   Pottery (or ceramic) objects, both intact and broken, make up a large portion of the moundlike debris piles, or tells, found all over Mesopotamia. Indeed, vessels, figurines, and other artifacts of baked clay were the most common products manufactured by ancient Mesopotamian craftspeople. However, unlike the ancient Greeks, whose pottery was often an outlet for artistic expression and of high quality, with a few exceptions Mesopotamian potters produced pottery of largely uninspired, even crude design and execution. Thus, in Mesopotamia ceramics was a minor art at best, especially compared to native architecture and sculpture, which were often of superb quality. Nevertheless, study of the remains of pottery has greatly aided modern archaeologists in dating ancient sites in the region. This is because people usually made pottery objects featuring shapes, painted designs, and other characteristics that were distinct to their own time periods. The basics of dating Mesopotamian pottery were pioneered by
   British archaeologist Flinders Petrie (1853 - 1942) in the 1890s.
   Pottery was in use at least as early as 7000 b.c. in Mesopotamia. The first pottery objects were shaped by hand and were baked in open fires. Hotter, more controlled firing was possible after the introduction of primitive kilns circa 6000 b.c., and subsequently kilns were made of fired brick and came in several different shapes and sizes. Due to a lack of oxygen in these kilns, during the firing process the reddish brown clay turned gray or black. In addition to hand shaping, early potters employed simple molds, into which they pressed the moist clay. A slow-turning, hand-operated potter's wheel appeared in Mesopotamia around 4000 b.c., making mass production of jars and other commonly used objects more feasible. A faster wheel came into use circa 2000 B.c.And Assyrian and Babylonian potters introduced ceramic items coated with colored glazes in the first millennium b.c. Pottery cooking pots, cups, plates, bowls, and jars continued to be made, but their quality was usually mediocre, as the well-to-do generally preferred metals such as bronze, silver, and gold for fine dinnerware and decorative vases.

Ancient Mesopotamia dictioary. . 2015.

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  • POTTERY — appears for the first time in the Neolithic period, around the middle of the sixth millennium B.C.E. For two reasons, it serves as a major tool for the archaeological study of the material culture of ancient man: first because of its extensive… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Pottery — (spr. Patterih, d. i. die Töpferei), ein[443] 21/2 QM. großes, bes. durch Wedgwood angebautes Thal des oberen Trent im nordwestlichen Theile der englischen Grafschaft Stafford, mit Steinkohlenminen u. Thongruben, darin 14 Ortschaften, darunter… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • POTTERY —    Pottery found in Etruria is generally defined technologically and artistically into a number of distinct forms: coarse pottery or impasto, fine black burnished and heavily reduced (deprived of oxygen in the kiln) bucchero, and black glazed and …   Historical Dictionary of the Etruscans

  • Pottery — Pot ter*y, n.; pl. {Potteries}. [F. poterie, fr. pot. See {Pot}.] 1. The vessels or ware made by potters; earthenware, glazed and baked. [1913 Webster] 2. The place where earthen vessels are made. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pottery — late 15c., “a potter s workshop,” from O.Fr. poterie (13c.), from potier (see POTTER (Cf. potter)). Attested from 1727 as “the potter s art,” from 1785 as “potteryware.” …   Etymology dictionary

  • pottery — [n] containers made from clay; clay art ceramics, crockery, earthenware, firing, glazing, porcelain, porcelainware, stoneware, terra cotta; concepts 174,259,494 …   New thesaurus

  • pottery — ► NOUN (pl. potteries) 1) articles made of fired clay. 2) the craft or profession of making such ware. 3) a factory or workshop where such ware is made …   English terms dictionary

  • pottery — [pät′ər ē] n. pl. potteries [LME poterye < MFr poterie < potier, potter < pot, POT1] 1. a place where earthenware is made; potter s workshop or factory 2. the art or occupation of a potter; ceramics 3. pots, bowls, dishes, etc. made of… …   English World dictionary

  • pottery — /pot euh ree/, n., pl. potteries. 1. ceramic ware, esp. earthenware and stoneware. 2. the art or business of a potter; ceramics. 3. a place where earthen pots or vessels are made. [1475 85; POTTER1 + Y3] * * * I One of the oldest and most… …   Universalium

  • Pottery — Pot and Pots redirect here. For Pot, see Pot (disambiguation). For POTS, see POTS (disambiguation). Unfired green ware pottery on a traditional drying rack at Conner Prairie living history museum …   Wikipedia


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