Ceramic Raw Materials

  • George R. Rapp
Part of the Natural Science in Archaeology book series (ARCHAEOLOGY)


This chapter is mostly about pottery. Pottery is only one of the large number of products known as ceramics. Other ceramics are covered briefly. Although pottery is composed of predominantly crystalline phases, glass (including glaze) is not. Glasses (including obsidian) are formed from the solidification of molten silicate — solidification that took place too rapidly for minerals to crystallize. Terracottas are thick, coarse, porous wares normally fired well below 900°C. Porcelain is a ternary mixture of clay, quartz, and feldspar. The latter acts as a flux that aids in the development of a glassy phase in the fired product.


Clay Mineral Firing Temperature Flux Agent Ancient Glass Porcelain Stone 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • George R. Rapp
    • 1
  1. 1.Archaeometry LaboratoryUniversity of MinnesotaDuluthUSA

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