Pottery

Definition

by Wikipedia
published on 03 August 2011
Black-figured amphora (wine-jar) signed by Exekias as potter and attributed to him as painter (Trustees of the British Museum)

Pottery is the material from which the potteryware is made, of which major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made is also called a pottery (plural "potteries"). Pottery is made by forming the clay body into objects of a required shape and heating them to high temperatures in a kiln to induce reactions that lead to permanent changes including increasing their strength and hardening and setting their shape.

The earliest-known ceramic objects are Gravettian figurines such as those discovered at Dolni Vestonice in the modern-day Czech Republic. The Venus of Dolní Věstonice is a Venus figurine, a statuette of a nude female figure dated to 29,000–25,000 BCE. The earliest pottery vessels found include those excavated from the Yuchanyan Cave in southern China, dated from 16,000 BCE, and those found in the Amur River basin in the Russian Far East, dated from 14,000 BCE. 

The invention of the potter's wheel in Mesopotamia sometime between 6,000 and 4,000 BCE (Ubaid period) revolutionized pottery production. Specialized potters were then able to meet the expanding needs of the world's first cities.



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Timeline

Visual Timeline
  • prehistoric
    Gravettian figurines including the Venus of Dolní Věstonice.
  • prehistoric
    Oldest pottery vessels known found in Japan
  • 14000 BCE
    Pottery production at the Amur River in modern-day Russia.
  • 8000 BCE
    Ovens in use in the Near East are applied to pottery production.
  • 5500 BCE
    Oldest faience workshop in Egypt founded at Abydos.
  • c. 4000 BCE
    Creation at Uruk of first mass-produced bowls.
  • c. 2000 BCE
    Pottery wheel introduced to Minoan civilization on Crete.
  • c. 1000 BCE
    The first distinctive Greek pottery is produced, the Proto-geometric style.
  • c. 900 BCE
    The Geometric style of Greek pottery is first produced.
  • c. 625 BCE
    Black-figure pottery created in Corinth.
  • c. 625 BCE - 600 BCE
    The orientalizing style of Greek pottery becomes popular in Corinth.
  • c. 620 BCE - 600 BCE
    Proto-corinthian reaches its zenith in artistic quality producing the best pottery in Greece.
  • 600 BCE - 480 BCE
    Attic black-figure pottery dominates the greek ceramic market.
  • c. 570 BCE - c. 560 BCE
    The black-figure Francois Vase is produced in Attica by Ergotimos (potter) and Kleitias (painter).
  • 560 BCE - 520 BCE
    Chalkidian black-figure pottery is produced in southern Italy.
  • 545 BCE - 530 BCE
    Exekias, perhaps the greatest black-figure pottery painter is active.
  • c. 530 BCE
    Red-figure pottery style takes precedent over black-figure.
  • 530 BCE
    The Andokides Painter invents red-figure pottery.
  • 320 BCE
    Last recorded examples of Attic Red-Figure Pottery.

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