The term refers to objects made of clay that have been fashioned into a desire shape, dried, and either fired or baked to fix their form. Due to its abundance and durability, pottery is one of the most common types of items found by archaeologists during excavations, and it has the potential of providing valuable information about the human past. Clay is abundant, cheap, and adaptable, which makes it convenient for human exploitation. Because usable clay is widely available, pottery was independently invented in many parts of the world at different times. As early as 30, years ago, we can also see evidence of some experimentation with clay: at a site known as Dolni Vestonice Czech Republic , figurines made of clay mixed with crushed mammoth bone were found. The oldest evidence of pottery manufacture has been found at an archaeological site known as Odai Yamamoto, in Japan , where fragments from a specific vessel have been dated to about 16,, years ago.
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Pottery in Antiquity - Ancient History Encyclopedia
Pottery fragments found in a south China cave have been confirmed to be 20, years old, making them the oldest known pottery in the world, archaeologists say. The findings, which appear in the journal Science on Friday, add to recent efforts that have dated pottery piles in east Asia to more than 15, years ago, refuting conventional theories that the invention of pottery correlates to the period about 10, years ago when humans moved from being hunter-gatherers to farmers. The research by a team of Chinese and American scientists also pushes the emergence of pottery back to the last ice age, which might provide new explanations for the creation of pottery, said Gideon Shelach, chair of the Louis Frieberg Center for East Asian Studies at The Hebrew University in Israel. In an accompanying Science article , Shelach wrote that such research efforts "are fundamental for a better understanding of socio-economic change 25, to 19, years ago and the development that led to the emergence of sedentary agricultural societies". He said the disconnection between pottery and agriculture as shown in east Asia might shed light on specifics of human development in the region.
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Pottery in Antiquity
Findings date back to — BC, this period borders with Valdivia, one of the oldest pottery-featured cultures in North and South America. A related article is published in Antiquity. During the excavations at Real Alto site Ecuador , Russian scientists found fragments of ceramic vessels at a depth of 75 cm to 1 meter. They belong to the insufficiently studied San Pedro complex. Radiocarbon analysis by mass spectrometer showed the pottery dates back to BC.