Dating techniques for ceramics
The aesthetic qualities of pottery can be analysed, and it is possible to have a better understanding of what type of pigments and other substances were known to that particular society.
In some cases the overall color of the pottery can be changed from its natural reddish to gray without the need of pigments, merely by manipulating the temperature and air influx in the kiln during the firing process.
Non-agricultural Jomon peoples of Japan were producing clay pots used for food preparation that were elaborately decorated by about 13,000 years ago.
The use of ovens added new possibilities to the development of pottery.
Around the same time, some areas of South America were also developing pottery technology.
Because usable clay is widely available, pottery was independently invented in many parts of the world at different times.
The earliest recorded evidence of clay usage dates back to the Late Palaeolithic period in central and western Europe, where fired and unfired clay figurines were created as a form of artistic expression.
Pottery is the first synthetic material ever created by humans.
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.
Enclosing the pottery inside a chamber results in key advantages: the temperatures that can be achieved are higher, last longer, and the heat can be controlled more efficiently.
The simplest forms of kilns are pit kilns, which is a pit fire installation where the fuel is placed at the bottom, followed by the pottery, and more fuel in the upper layer.
Thermoluminiscence is often used when no other method is available, mainly because there are restrictions to its application, and its precision is rarely better than /- 10% of the age of the sample. This is especially important at sites where written records cannot offer chronological references, either because they cannot be found or because they remain undeciphered.
A famous example is on the island of Crete, where Arthur Evans was able to date the excavation of the Palace of Knossos based on imported Egyptian artefacts that were found there, including pottery, allowing the researchers to extend the Egyptian chronology into Crete.
This type of knowledge is usually the last step in a long sequence of experimentation, an indication that pottery production in that specific society was not new, and it probably had been developing for several thousand years.