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date: 07 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Organic inclusions in ceramics may occur naturally in clay deposits or be intentionally added to the paste as temper. In the first case, the inclusions are composed of entire microscopic organisms and/or parts of microscopic and macroscopic plants and animals found in the local environment. In the second case, the plant or animal tempers are specifically selected, used alone or mixed with other organic or inorganic tempers, and come from a wide variety of geographic and ecological contexts. During firing, organic compounds undergo partial to complete destruction; charred organic materials or their heat-resistant remnants are nevertheless useful for the identification of their origin. The use of different tempers provides valuable information about ceramic technologies and regional potting traditions. In addition, organic inclusions may demarcate the geographical area of ceramic manufacture, the depositional environment of the clay, and/or ancient agricultural practices in the area of production.

Keywords: organic inclusions, ceramic technologies, organic temper, inorganic temper, plant temper, animal temper, ceramic manufacture

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