A selection of ceramics through the ages (5 second delay) Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology The Collections:
PotWeb: Ceramics online
@ the Ashmolean Museum
Early Europe & Near East
Classical to Medieval
Europe from 1500
Oriental & Islamic
The ABC of pottery in archaeology
What is it?
There are three types of ceramic in the archaeological record: earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. All are made from clay, a plastic mineral whose physical structure can be changed permanently by the application of heat. Earthenware is fired to a comparatively low temperature (above 600C) with the result that it remains porous. Stoneware has a fused, waterproof body achieved through firing above 1200C., while porcelain is white and translucent, fired at temperatures above 1300C. Only clays from certain sources can withstand these higher temperatures. Still-life by Harmen van Steenwyck
Still-life by Harmen van Steenwyck (1612 after 1656) with an earthenware jar, earthenware dish with a knife, a pewter-mounted stoneware bottle and a porcelain dish of peaches and grapes
  The ABC of ... Why is pottery useful?
© Copyright University of Oxford, Ashmolean Museum, 2000
The Ashmolean Museum retains the copyright of all materials
used here and in its Museum Web pages.
last updated: jcm/27-jun-2000