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October 24 2013.docx

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Western University
Classical Studies
Classical Studies 2700A/B
Les Murison

Clay—Pottery: Techniques and Styles -we believe women were the first potters because of the size of the fingerprints found on clay… since they were relatively small (they were found all over the place on pottery) -in turkey thousands and thousands of pots were made every year (made by Potts men and firemen) -clay from a river bank and were heated in a bonfire with weeds (this didn’t work very well and didn’t get hot enough) – 450-700C to expel moisture in carbon clay…above 540C it becomes denser and less porous…we have a pot)…the clay base on the river bank couldn’t get hot enough. -clay was used for pots and storage vessels…bricks, lamp, chimney pots, trough, moulds, and loom weights. Loom weights were like rings that had yarn wrapped around it (so the yarn was strung tight), and the string was tied to a bar above (the loom). There were found on many sights. Loom weights are good archaeological tools to find the main domestic area in an excavation site -toys were also made IMPORTANT – with fire hardened pottery there was an improvement in hygiene (pots could be cleaned easily and liquids could be stored in clay jars…lids were used to keep out flies and bugs, and rats cant dig through clay)… Pottery regarded as “gift from the Gods”: example of Khnum (round headed Egyptian god was the creator of all things and regarded as a potter) in Egypt…in words of prophets in the old testament in bible (book of Isaiah – chapter 64 verse 8) "But now, O LORD, thou [art] our father; we [are] the clay, and thou our potter; and we all [are] the work of thy hand." How kiln is different from oven – separation of pot from fuel burning in the fire. Prevent marks from surface of the pot and uneven firing. Heat is separate from the kiln. Kiln necessary to produce polychrome pottery (modern-day colour in pots. Surface has different colours.) -there were variations in kilns but shortly after 4,000-3500 BC in Mesopotamian there is a standard form for kiln arrangement…the bottom had the heat source, the bed above was perforated and there was a dome above it where the pottery was cooked. Inner layer was made of clay and outer layer was made of stone or brick…kilns are extremely preserved because of this heat...kiln is most efficient way of using fuel and for production -why doesn’t clay stick to kiln (it is extremely dried out before putting in the clay) -Egyptian kiln 300BC was a little different, but the general concept was the same -before 3500 BC a new tool was introduced…it was the turntable. One hand turned the table and the other formed the clay. This was used by Greeks in early classical period (Corinthian workers used it) -during period of Greek revival after 800BC there was much technological advancement (in regards to pottery technology). This was especially seen in Corinth and later in Athens. Particularly in the year 600 (there about). Ideas were passed around between these cities and it better than anything else produced in the Mediterranean world. Greeks devised a number of technological innovations – Greek potters invented the wheel which is no longer a turn table. Assistant turns table and potter works clay. This was much quicker and made better pottery. Works more steadily than before. Once pottery is shaped and dried they put it back on the wheel (“leather hard”). They used a chisel like tool to shave the clay to make it thinner and finer (so it’s not as thick). The surface was much finer. The final improved process. They used slip (which is a clay an
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