Thursday, September 24, 2009

Technical considerations

Porcelain--note platey structure. Figure 1a (should be below)

Updraft kiln, firebox separate Figure 7c

Chinese Dragon Kiln Figure 7b

Bonfire/Neolithic kilns Figure 7a

Tin glaze Figure 6

German Salt Glaze Figure 5

Roman sigillata body and slip Figure 4

Faience Figure 3

Vegetable temper (above) and Roman smooth body (below)
Figure 2

Calcareous clay (above)/Limey earthenware Figure 1b/c (note: porcelain image at top)

Hello Class, Here are the technical notes I showed you in class. Remember, they are very basic!

Technical Considerations
• Clay: A fine-grained natural material which, when wet, is characterized by its plasticity, the property which allows it to be deformed by pressure into a desired shape without cracking and to keep this shape when the pressure is removed. In addition to clay minerals, clay typically contains feldspar, calcite and iron oxide.
• Clay Minerals: A group of very fine-grained minerals (alumino silicates) which are the main constituents of clay. They occur as minute platelets which, when wet, slide across one another, giving the clay its plastic properties.

Clay Structure (Ceramic Masterpieces) fig1.8 p38 particles of Kaolinite. Fine platelets occur as stacks that require intensive mixing to break up into individual particles. When separated by water films, the platelets slide over one another to give good plasticity to a clay-water paste. (above figure 1a)

figure 13.2 p. 235 Calcereous illite clay from Corinth consists of much finer platey particles and has high impurity content (potassia, calcia, iron, titania); Limey earthenware clay from Iran more impure, finer particle, less-well developed platey nature. (figures 1b/c)

Primary and Secondary Clays
Clay occurs naturally in beds of weathered and decomposed granite and gneiss that makes up 85% of the earth’s surface.
Primary clays are found on the site of the parent feldspathic rock and are relatively pure, containing only materials that were part of the parent rock such as feldspar, quartz and mica. They are typically white, large grained and aplastic with low shrinkage. They have a high melting point and require flux to decrease firing temperature (i.e. kaolin).
Secondary clays are deposited away from the parent rock by water or wind and are characterized by fine, uniform particles. They tend to be very plastic and require the addition of other materials such as sand or grog to prevent excessive shrinkage.
Calcareous Clay: contains more than 5% lime, usually in the form of calcite (calcium carbonate, CaCO), the main constituent of limestone. Clays of this type are typically alluvial and were widely used in the Mediterranean and the Near East. Calcareous clays fire to a very stable structure in the range of 850-1050 degrees C, characteristic of much ancient pottery. Careful control of temperature was not necessary and a wide range of colours would result from a single firing.

• Potters clean and refine their dug clay by levigation--washing clay in slurry form, allowing it to settle and pouring off liquid with finer particles in suspension into additional tubs. It is generally aged and foreign particles are removed. Often sand, crushed pots, shell or other materials are added to improve the clay body, to give it bulk, strength, ability to withstand rapid changes in heat etc. Washed clay needs to be wedged (pugged) to eliminate air bubbles and foreign materials. In factory situations, specialized workers look after each of these tasks.
Temper in Pots
Micrographs showing vegetable temper (top) and numerous grains of very fine sand or silt in romanised ware (bottom). Note the regular, well-sorted size distribution of particles. The inclusion of temper improves thermal shock resistance in bonfire firing and cooking. Hand-pots break less-easily than do wheel-thrown wares. (PMCT p.58) (Figure 2 above)

Forming techniques:
Methods are direct (throwing, hand forming, carving, turning, modelling) or indirect (moulding). Clay can be squeezed, pinched and paddled into shape. Pinch or thumb pots most familiar--limit to size, but otherwise, any level of sophistication possible. Pinching and hand forming can also be done to embellish a thrown pot--ie, additional ornaments, lip or foot design. Hand-building can involve cutting slabs of clay to patterns and luting edges together. Coil building can simulate wheel-throwing in roundness, uniformity. Often walls thinned and raised by beating with paddle, supporting wall from inside of pot with “anvil.” Huge pots made in this way still in Greece, Asia. Finished pots may be burnished with stone, shell or mineral like hematite to align particles/consolidate surface and gives degree of impermeability and beautiful sheen.
Molding technique originated with bronze casting, carried over to ceramics. Single valve (i.e. sprig molds) designs fairly flat but can later be undercut. Efficient way to produce identical or nearly-identical multiples--sometimes hand finishing makes each one subtly different. Romans industrialize ceramics through molds. Double-valve molds--two sides to mold fit together, side seams smoothed over--enable replication of eccentric shapes that otherwise would require very slow building techniques. Slip casting more efficient--wet slip poured into mold, sloshed around, excess poured off (can be repeated)--shrinkage makes clay pull away. Cutting: can elaborate surface by piercing, cutting patterns into it. Might also involve impressing various tools, seals; inlaid patterns can later be filled in with contrasting coloured slip (Korean celadons from 10-14th c.) or as intensification of glaze (Sung-Dynasty).

Potter’s Wheel
consists of top circular bat, bearing or bearings, on which wheel rotates, heavy flywheel that can be turned by assistant or by foot and which will turn for a long time, leaving hands free to work. Very tall pots usually thrown in sections and joined--wet clay will only support so much weight for thickness of walls. Accurate throwing might involve templates, pointers for measuring. Clay can be thrown into concave molds fixed to bat--useful for mass-production of identical items, especially bowls with relief-molded decoration. Jiggering--mold fixed to bat, template made for external radius--mold is usually convex--place pancake or bat of clay over mold, lower arm over spinning clay--press until excess is shaved away. Turning: shaving-down of green-hard pot to thin walls--refines shape--Chinese eggshell porcelains (18th c) shaved to almost unbelievable thinness. Used to perfect profiles of shoulders, rims, feet, flanges etc.

Slips and Glazes:
make pots impervious (for earthenware) or stronger, more chip-resistant and enhance appearance. Slips are clay particles suspended in water, often have materials added to enhance suspension and/or colouring agents. Slips have natural affinity for clay body. Glazes have additional fluxes added and consist mainly of colouring agent--metal or metalic oxide, with glassy agent--silica (quartz, flint or sand) plus flux (lead, soda, wood-ash, borax or magnesia) to lower melt temperature of silica plus frit, clay, feldspar etc. to give “body” to glaze. Raw glazes--naturally insoluble with limestone and feldspar as main fluxes or lead glazes and fritted glazes in which soluble alkalis are rendered insoluble by fritting--melting with silica and later milled and sifted for uniform particle size.
Fritting renders toxic ingredients like heavy metals, lead non-toxic. Soluble alkalis are problematic because the effloresce on the surface during drying and result in non-uniform composition with poor surface qualities.
Glaze materials fire different colours under different conditions. Main difference created by oxidizing--clear, bright flame, lots of oxygen--colouring agents remain in oxide form versus reduction--smoky, choked flame, “robs” oxygen from glaze or body of pot (oxygen combines with excess carbon in atmosphere), creates different colours--coloring agents are the metals themselves, not in oxide form. Alternations in environment can cause interesting speckles, different pots in same batch to fire differently, and are essential to Greek red and black pots.
Salt-glaze and Wood Ash--unique--enhance characteristic of clay itself--used on stoneware. Salt (NaCl) thrown into kiln over 1100 degrees C. decomposes, releasing chlorine gas. Silica acts as powerful flux on surface of pots--fuses ahead of rest of body, causing shiny glassy surface, often speckled. Very popular in Germany late middle-ages. Wood ashes dusted on pots prior to being put into kiln or exposed to ash from fire in kiln--effect is rustic, “natural”, highly-sought after in Japan.
Transfer printing important industrial technique--first used in Liverpool or Worchester for soft-paste porcelain in 1756. Makes use of copper plate engraving technology --copper plate is engraved--pigment applied to roller, plate wiped clean (pigment remains in grooves)--plate is printed onto thin paper attached to wares. Ware is then glazed and fired. Alternate process uses gelatin bat to deposit oil onto glazed wares, which are dusted with overglaze pigments and low-fired.

Faience (Figure 3)
Faience: Analysis of Egyptian faience reveals there is no deliberately added clay. The body was composed of crushed quartz, as shown in the micrograph, with small amounts of glass that bound the quartz grains together. A continuous glassy layer covers the surface. The body is porous, with holes showing as black. The glaze improves appearance and stabilizes surface/faience object. (PMCT p.104.)
Roman Terra Sigillata Bodies and Slips (figure 4)
Roman factories were able to impose standardization through the use of fine, calcareous clays that fired to a consistent quality over a range of temperatures ranging from 850-1050 degrees common to wood fired updraft kiln. Glossy surface is achieved by use of a very fine slip oxidized to sealing-wax red. Micrograph of sherd of Eastern Gaulish sigillata shows open, partially-vitrified body and vitreous slip. The two adhere well with the resulting tough “non-stick” surface that made this ware popular for the table. (PMCT p.191)

Salt-Glazing (figure 5)
The method of salt-glazing differs from other forms of glaze in that instead of raw glaze being applied to a pot, the glazing compound—salt—is deposited in the kiln during firing. Salt (NaCl) decomposes above 1100 degrees C to produce sodium oxide plus hydrogen chloride gas. The sodium oxide reacts with (fluxes) the alumina and silica of the pot to form a thin glaze layer. The glaze is rough to the touch due to numerous small flaws. Micrograph shows less than 0.1mm thick glaze on 16th c. stoneware from Frechen. (PMCT 124)

Tin-Opacified Glazes (figure 6)
Tin-glazes were first developed by Islamic potters in Iraq in 8th c. CE. Tin created appearance of opaque white glaze, which was excellent for decoration. Tin and lead were fired together to produce oxides; this was added to an alkali-silicate mixture. Micrograph shows section through body and glaze—numerous fine white particles are tin. (PMCT p.111)

Kilns: Simplest is bonfire--pots are stacked on wood, additional fuel packed in around--set on fire. Reduction atmosphere created by packing in dung or organic material--many primitive and ancient pots fired this way, leaving very few traces for archaeologists. Evolution to separate fire chamber from pot chamber--often with simple ceramic or metal grate. In bank kilns--China--single fire chamber at bottom of hill, succession of pot chambers go up hill--as get further from fire chamber, successively cooler (permits multiple firings at once). Dragon kilns 12th c. Song Dynasty two meters across and 30 meters long, rise up hill at 15 degrees, thick insulation, entry ports along way for insertion of fuel--fire moved up the hill during process. Air pre-heated by passing over wares below fire; exhaust gasses passed over wares ahead of flame, pre-warming wares, making efficient use of heat.

Kilns (from Ceramic Masterpieces, David Kingery and Pamela Vandiver)
Left, above: simple bonfire kiln
Left, below, Neolithic kiln, China (Figure 7a)

Chinese Dragon Kiln, 12th c. (figure 7b)

Updraft Kiln, firebox separate from wares (Kingery and Vandiver) (figure 7c)

Updraft kilns--heat is drawn up from fire pit, across pots and up chimney. Down-draft kilns--heat is drawn up and across, and then down again to flues at bottom of chamber--more efficient use of fuel, necessary for stoneware and porcelain temperatures. Saggars and muffles used to protect pots from flames. Modern kiln technology completely different--electric, controlled, wares stacked on trolleys that travel through kiln to produced identical wares. Control of temperature essential. Renaissance kiln masters familiar with relationship of colour to heat: red--525 C; Bright Red, beginning orange 1000C; Dull white 1300C; Bright white 1400C. Would open flues to allow hot gasses to reach cooler parts of furnace, stoke etc. to control heat. Firebox design and number important to stoneware or porcelain heat.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Missing images from Egyptian text

figure 5
figure 4

fig 4 (note--no figure 3, 2 figure 4s)

fig 2

fig 1

Hello class, here are the images relating to the text left out of your course pack. They are similar but not identical to those in the essay. I have given you the captions in your class email

Friday, September 11, 2009

Criteria for Evaluating Internet Resources

I am including this information to help you evaluate any website you chose to use for research. Please consult it prior to using a website in your Work Cited.
Criteria for Evaluating Internet Resources (From UBC Library)
The World Wide Web offers a great wealth of information, as well as the opportunity for people to express themselves and exchange ideas. This makes it a potentially great place to accomplish research on many topics. But putting documents or pages on the Web is easy, cheap or free, unregulated and unmonitored. If you are using a Web-based source for a research paper, you will need to develop skills to evaluate the credibility and appropriateness of what you find. The following checklist presents questions to ask to help determine whether a Web page is a suitable resource for a research paper, or not. Don't expect to be able to answer all the questions, all the time, for all Websites you look at. Rather, try to use the questions as a tool to help you look at Web pages critically.

Author or Source
Is there an author of the work? If so, is the author clearly identified?
Are the author's credentials for writing on this topic stated?
Is the author affiliated with an organization?
Does the site or page represent a group, organization, institution, corporation or government body?
Is there a link back to the organization's page or a way to contact the organization or the author to verify the credibility of the site (address, phone number, email address)?
Is it clear who is responsible for the creation and/or maintenance of the site or page?

Is this page part of an edited or peer-reviewed publication?
Can factual information be verified through footnotes or bibliographies to other credible sources?
Based on what you already know about the subject, or have checked from other sources, does this information seem credible?
Is it clear who has the responsibility for the accuracy of the information presented?
If statistical data is presented in graphs or charts is it labeled clearly?

Is there a date stating when the document was originally created?
Is it clear when the site or page was last updated, revised or edited?
Are there any indications that the material is updated frequently or consistently to ensure currency of the content?
If there are links to other Web pages are they current?

Is the page free of advertising? If the page does contain advertising, are the ads clearly separated from the content?
Does the page display a particular bias or perspective? Or is the information presented factually, without bias?
Is it clear and forthcoming about its view of the subject?
Does it use inflammatory or provocative language?

Is there any indication that the page is incomplete or that it is not still under construction?
If there is a print equivalent to the Web page, is there clear indication of whether the entire work or only a portion is available on the Web?

What is the primary purpose of the page? To sell a product? To make a political point? To have fun? To parody a person, organization or idea? Is the page or site a comprehensive resource or does it focus on a narrow range of information?
What is the emphasis of the presentation? Technical, scholarly, clinical, popular, elementary, etc.

See http://www.library/

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Midterm Study Image 2009/5 Shabti

Egypt, Shabti with Coffin, 19th-20th Dynasty, (c. 1307-1070 BCE. faience, 7cm.

Faience was known in Mesopotamia, Near East and Egypt to make beads and other luxury goods. Faience was an easily worked using molds and could be used to copy soapstone (in short supply), semi-precious stones and metals. Quartz pebbles were ground, mixed with alkali, molded and fired to resemble gems. Minerals added included copper (turquoise), cobalt (lapis lazuli). The alkali salts in the material caused the minerals to migrate to the surface, producing a "self-glazing" colored material. Sometimes clay was added to enhance plasticity, but rarely in Egypt. Ushabtis were placed in tombs as "helpers."--often with sickles to cut grain, perform duties for dead pharaoh. Other common uses for faience included votive objects for Goddess Hathor--chalices, lotus motif.
Please note: this image is out of sequential order--I decided on it a bit later and can not seem to insert it into its proper place. It should be pretty easy to figure out!

Midterm Study Image 2009/13 Ayanaar Horse

Tamil Nadu, India. Ayanaar horse, terra cotta, life size, 20th c.

These magnificent life-sized sculptures of horses are made in the southern part of India in Tamil Nadu. They are fired in situ and can be as tall as 4 metres high. Making, firing and initiating these figures are all connected with spiritual rituals governed by tradition handed down for generations.Massive terracotta Horse. Environs of Puthur, Tamilnadu, South India. This fifty year old massive clay image was fired on site. Because the fired surfaces are porous a solution of oxides used as colorants are easily absorbed and thus made durable. Fifty years have altered them only slightly. Although the annual rains soak the porous clay, no harm results because Tamilnadu never freezes. In other climates water penetrating the clay could freeze and expand causing disintegration within a season.For more information, please see:

Midterm Study Image 2009/12 Whistling Vessel

Peru, south coast. Double-chambered whistling vessel depicting an owl, , Early Middle Horizon (CE 650-750).

Most whistling vessels have been found in pristine shape in graves; forms often imitate particularly “vocal” animals such as parrots, owls, monkeys—whistle suggests their sounds.Stirrup spout or handle distinct feature throughout region and time. Pots take many forms, mold-made—animals, fruits, vegetables, sea shells, humans. Often greywares, smudged (not true reduction), coarse temper. Textiles in region highly developed—also work in gold, copper, silver. First whistling pots appear.

Midterm Study Image 2009/11 Moche Stirrup pot

Peru. Moche: Huari. Stirrup spout bottle in form of jaguar with captive warrior; Early Intermediate period, 300-600 CE.

Mochica (CE l00-1200)--most important, near Chicama river (north coast), related to other groups living in south by Nazca valley, Paracas. Outstanding plastic wares—eventually, most are mold-made, many nearly identical with some variety in finish—delicate stirrup spout, some with flat bridges, often in shape of human or animal head, dippers and corn poppers.

Midterm Study Image 2009/10 Lucy Lewis

New Mexico, Lucy Lewis, Rounded pot, earthenware/painted decoration c. 1970.

Lucy Martin Lewis (b Acoma Pueblo, NM, c. 1895; d 12 March 1992). Native American potter. As a child she made and sold Acoma polychrome pottery, which by 1900 had deteriorated into tourist wares such as vases and ashtrays, but in the 1930s she began working in the Acoma pottery tradition of the 19th century, making jars with a red-slip base and white-slip body that were decorated with the bird and flower motifs that had been common from c. 1880. In the 1940s she adapted designs from prehistoric ceramics: non-figurative motifs from Hohokam and Anasazi wares (5th–13th centuries) and figurative designs from Mimbres wares (10th–13th centuries). From the former she adopted repetitive fine-line patterning that covered the entire body of the vessel as well as ‘negative’ patterns in white slip against a black painted background with occasional orange accents. Working in the coil-and-scrape method with the dense grey clay of the Acoma area tempered with ground potsherds, Lewis produced miniature pots, seed jars, bowls, animal effigies and water jars, all rarely more than 250 mm in height. Several coats of white slip were applied, and each coat was polished with a wet stone until the slip was opaque. Paints made from ground minerals with a binder of boiled vegetal matter were applied with a chewed yucca-leaf brush. The vessels were then fired outdoors using dried cow dung. Until her death she continued to work at her home in McCartys, NM, assisted by her daughters. (From Groves Art Online)Lucy Lewis is regarded as the matriarch of Acoma pottery and alongside Maria Martinez, is one of the best known Southwestern potters. She started making pottery around the turn of the century, continuing a tradition dating back hundreds, if not thousands of years. Pottery of the Southwest was generally coil built, molded or modelled and low-fired. Lucy derived her designs - painted on with colored slips - from shards found in the Kivas of the pueblo and Anasazi and Mimbres pottery she studied in the Museum of New Mexico. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, including at the Smithsonian State and City Museums, Princeton University and the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C. For more information on Lucy Lewis and other Native American Women Potters, have a look at Pottery by American Indian Women by Susan Peterson. (Ceramics Today,

Midterm Study Image 2009/9 Mimbres Culture

New Mexico. Mimbres, Mogollon Culture. Bowl depicting a mythological scene of a crane swallowing a decapitated human head. 12.7 x 22.9 cm. CE 950-1150.

Mimbres Black-on-White is perhaps the most recognizable of the southwestern types of pottery, most likely because it is the only type which consistently bears figural subject matter. Animals, insects, fish, humans and mythological subjects are common. These beasts are usually highly conventionalized, and often resemble those found in pictographs, or rock art. Though many have studied these figures, no one has provided a convincing explanation of their meaning.Geometric motifs are just as common. These usually consist of a band of decoration extending partway into the bowl. Some bowls have allover decoration. Fine lines and relative intricacy distinguish this type from the earlier Mangas Black-on-White.

Midterm Study Image 2009/8 Roman Lead Glazed

Rome, Three vessels, lead glaze, mold-made with relief, 1 c. BCE-1 c CE

Three Roman vessels, all with vitreous glaze. Double-handled cup with applied scales CE 20-70, said to be from Arles, France; Double-handled vase c. CE 70-100, said to be from Tharros; singled-handled cup decorated with imbricated leaves, from Asia Minor, 1st. C CE. Height (tallest) 17.5 cm.

Such wares were regarded as luxury items. (note differences in place of origin, date)This form of drinking cup, with deep body and ring handles with thumb-rests, is known as a skyphos. It was a popular shape, made in metal, pottery and glass during the later Hellenistic and early Roman periods (about 150 BC- AD 100). The cup is covered by a thick glaze of lead silicate glass, which firing conditions turned a deep rich green on the exterior, and honey brown on the interior. The process of producing and firing such vessels was complicated by the adhesive nature of the glaze, which would bond itself to anything it touched in the kiln. The solution lay in firing the vessels upside-down, supported from the inside by three small prongs on a tall stand. The marks left on the interior are small, but drops of congealed glaze which formed when the vessel was inverted appear on the rim. Lead-glazed pottery was one of the few genuinely glazed ceramics of antiquity. At first they were almost certainly made in imitation of metal tableware. The earliest mass-produced and mould-made lead-glazed wares were made in Tarsus, Smyrna and other cities in Asia Minor from the late second century BC. From the late first century BC production centres were established in Italy, in the northern Adriatic and around Rome and Naples. From there the technique was exported to the Empire, from the Danube provinces to Gaul, Germany and Britain. Height: 7 cm ; Restoration can be highly deceptive. At first sight and even under careful scrutiny, this drinking vessel appears entirely preserved. However, under low magnification using a microscope, brush marks are visible on the handles. Under ultraviolet (UV) light, the two handles fluoresce a bright, light blue, showing that they had been painted, whereas the rest of the vessel was glazed. The paint indicates that the handles had been restored. It is not possible to tell from visual examination whether the handles are completely restored or if they are partly restored with heavy over-painting. This seems to be an example of intentional faking. However, the appearance of the handles is thought to be representative of how they may have originally looked. Since the restoration was not causing any damage to the pottery it was not removed. S. Buys and V. Oakley, The conservation and restoration of ceramics (Oxford, Butterworth Heinemann, 1993).

Midterm Study Image 2009/7 Roman Arretine ware

Roman Arretine ware, red slip earthenware, mold-made footed bowl, 1c BCE-1 c CE

Stemmed bowl, krater, Roman, from Arezzo. Earthenware, red gloss ware, decorated in relief with rows of beads, wreaths, rosettes and figures which represent the seasons. Signed by potter Cb. Ateius. Height 18.7 cm.

Red Gloss Wares: begin with Augustan/Imperial age, influenced by Hellenistic designs (figures in relief, scrolls, garlands, floral designs—black-slipped Megarian ware), often produced by Greek workers (have signature seals, industry records). Red gloss slip easier to fire than black—called terra sigillata—from sigillum (seal)--stamped designs. As with Greeks, made elaborate embossed and incised molds from plaster and fired clay—threw clay inside molds, feet, rims etc. added separately.Roman factories were able to impose standardization through the use of fine, calcareous clays that fired to a consistent quality over a range of temperatures ranging from 850-1050 degrees C common to wood fired updraft kiln. The decoration was achieved through impressing the designs onto the interior of a mould, and the vessel was then thrown in the mould which was mounted on a potter's wheel. This production technique allowed vessels to be produced uniformly in large numbers, usually by workshops in which ten to fifteen potters worked simultaneously.Glossy surface is achieved by use of a very fine slip oxidized to sealing-wax red. Micrograph of sherd of Eastern Gaulish sigillata shows open, partially-vitrified body and vitreous slip. The two adhere well with the resulting tough “non-stick” surface that made this ware popular for the table. (PMCT p.191)

Midterm Study Image 2009/6 Bronze-Age Britain

England, Group of Bronze-Age vessels, Urns and Beakers c. 1500-1000 BCE. 20cm.

Late Iron Age cremation burials in Britain.

Bronze Age pottery from Britain, showing a wide range of surface colours, dependent upon firing conditions. To the left are two globular urns. One is oragne and oxidised, showing a blackened area through contact with the fuel. The other is heavily smudged, due to carbon deposited in reduction. The beakers to the right show a range of incised and impressed decoration; once again, the firing effects are highly variable.One of the major changes that took place in the last 150 years of the Iron Age in Britain was that people in south-eastern England began to use new funeral rituals. People were cremated and buried in a grave along with pots, food and other items. Often the graves were in a small cemetery. This type of funeral rite was the same as that used by people who lived in north-east France (Gallo-Belgica) at this time. Many of the Iron Age British objects in The British Museum come from the excavation of these cremation graves. The grave goods were placed in the grave for the dead person to use in the next life. Most of the objects are connected with dress and appearance or with eating and drinking. They include brooches, mirrors and personal hygiene sets with items such as nail cleaners and tweezers. The grave goods also include cups, beakers, flagons and plates. Offerings of food and, perhaps, drink were also given.The more important the person's family was, the more grave goods were placed in the grave. Important families also placed rarer and more costly items in graves, such a foreign pottery, wooden 'buckets', mirrors, metal vessels made in Roman Italy and complete amphorae of wine. The graves from Welwyn, Welwyn Garden City and Hartford Heath are examples of burials of the most important ruling families. Graves such as those from Aylesford, Alkham and the grave from King Harry Lane shown here were those of middle ranking families. The poorest families could only bury their dead with, perhaps, just one locally made pot or a single brooch.

Midterm Study Image 2009/4 Gerzean Ware

Pre-Dynastic Egypt, Gerzean ware . Late Predynastic period. (Naqada II), 3600-3250 BCE

Pot decorated with a boat Height: 22.900 cm Width: 20.200 cm (max.)

The pink colour of the fabric of this vessel is typical of the marl clay obtained from the desert areas of Egypt. Vessels with rounded or tapered bases were common in the Predynastic period, and occurred throughout Egyptian history. These pots were supported on a stand or were placed in a depression made in the sand.The exterior is decorated with stylized representations in red ochre paint. The simple abstract patterns and spirals of the earliest examples were probably imitating vessels made of a hard stone such as breccia. The multiple wavy lines around the neck of this example, may represent water.The motifs used in later scenes include birds, animals, people and boats. The stylized boat on this vessel is typical of this period. It has a basic long curved shape, with strokes coming off it to represent oars. The two structures in the centre are probably cabins or shrines, one with an emblem like the later standards that represented different districts. Human figures are sometimes depicted near the cabins. These are often women, who are interpreted as dancers because they have their arms raised above their heads

Midterm Study Image 2009/3 Predynastic Egypt

Pre-Dynastic Egypt. Burnished black-topped redware jar. Late Predynastic period, Naqada II, around 3200 BC 31.5 x 17.7 cm.

A container for food for the Afterlife? From a tomb at Abydos, Egypt. These black-topped redware jars are characteristic of the finewares of the later Predynastic period. Burials of the late Predynastic period contain vessels of both fine and coarse wares. Even burials in the cemeteries of the poor often contained a black-topped vessel. They were perhaps filled with food for the Afterlife. The pots were made by coiling ropes of clay to build jars, bowls and bottles. The inside and outside of the vessel were smoothed and red ochre slip was applied. This produced a red colour if enough oxygen was available in the kiln. The black top was achieved by placing the vessel upside down in the kiln, so that the ashes of the fuel stopped oxygen reaching the slip. This resulted in a black colour. The vessel was burnished (polished using a hard object, like a pebble) to produce a shiny finish. Archaeological evidence from Hierakonpolis shows that fineware vessels were fired in special kilns, located in the desert valleys close to the source of the clay used to make them. Potters seem to have specialized in either coarse or fine pottery. The 'crescent-thumb' potter, so-called after his maker's mark, produced only coarse ware vessels. He lived and worked close to his clay source, setting out his wares in front of his house.

Midterm Study Image 2009/2 Hassuna Period

Mesopotamia, Hassuna Period, Painted bowls from Samarra c. 6300-6000 BCE.

Proto-Hassuna not that well fired--black core indicates 600-700 degrees C. for one hour, likely in bonfires (no evidence of kilns found). Produced in small villages. Hassuna ware fired better--vestigial kilns--sunken firebox, clay grate, wares separated from fire, sloping stoke hole--upper part likely temporary (piled pot shards etc.) Kilns clustered away from houses in separate district. We don’t know who made them. Samarra ware 6300-6000 BCE--central Mesopotamia--towns enclosed by ditch--extended families--houses up to 14 rooms. Labour coordinated for irrigation etc.--settlements self-sufficient in ceramics--lots of kiln sites, wasters, 850-1050 Celsius. Decoration in red or black or bichrome imitates textiles, basketry, whirling style, bulls etc. Breakage repaired--valuable, but not as valued as stone vessels (found in graves). Some potters’ marks indicate existence of limited trade--pots found around region. There seems to be little agreement about the exact dates of the Samarra culture as well as its precise cultural and ethnic makeup. Extensive evidence of irrigation indicates investment in crop farming, permanent settlements and complex social organization. Samarra culture is noted for its fine painted pottery decorated in dark coloured backgrounds with figures of animals - birds - people and geometric designs. This type of pottery was first recognized at Samarra but was thought to be a southern variant of the Hassuna Culture. It now seems Samarra was roughly contemporary with late Hassuna and early Halaf culture, which built over Hassuna sites. Some archaeologists believe Samarran colonization of the southerly lowland area led to the development of the later Ubaid culture (which later absorbed Halaf to the north.)

Midterm Study Images 2009/1 Hacilar, Turkey

Ha├žilar, Turkey. Earthenware pots, hand-built, decorated c. 5000 BCE.

Possibly from Hacilar, modern TurkeyThis painted jar, shaped like a female figure, is similar to a type of pottery found at Hacilar, excavated by James Mellaart between 1957 and 1960. The potters at this site were able to produce high-quality wares with beautifully executed, bright geometric designs. The ceramics were well shaped and were evenly fired. Along with jars and bowls, clay female figurines were common. However, the only vessels of this type excavated at Hacilar were much larger and fragmentary.Pottery workshops were found in a earlier level at Hacilar, in the village centre. Grindstones were used to break up the natural pigments of red and yellow ochre for colouring the pottery. Alongside them were cups of paint, storage areas for the clay and modeling tools, and unpainted but burnished pottery. No kilns were discovered and the firing may have taken place outside the settlement. This type of pottery has also been found at other sites in western Anatolia, and at Mersin, on the south-east coast of Turkey.By the beginning of the fifth millennium BC, Hacilar had been abandoned, and with the end of the settlement came an end to the fine pottery tradition. Height: 11.5 cm Width: 6.7 cm.