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Ceramicist

Ceramicist


"Ceramicist" is actually a term for two different but related fields of work. One definition is a person who deals with the most common find of an ancient archeological site: pottery. With these items, called potsherds, a ceramicist can define the timetable and the different communities of the site.

This type of ceramicist uses simple geometry to measure variables such as the height and length of the pottery they find. They also use scale drawings to record each site's dimensions and statistics for checking analyses. Probability and correlation are used in sampling to clarify hypotheses.

Ceramicists make detailed records of the different types of whole pots and broken pieces they find. This is known as a corpus and includes details of the size, shape, design, and decoration. From this record, it is possible to construct a picture of the pot.

Another type of ceramicist is a person who works with clay and glazes to make functional and decorative pieces of pottery. These ceramicists use geometric mathematics skills and calipers to measure the accuracy of their pieces. Knowledge of ratios is necessary for mixing the ingredients for the clay, enamel, and paints. A ceramicist will also use financial mathematics if they sell their work.

see also Archaeologist; Artists.

Marilyn Schwader

Bibliography

Cork, Barbara, and Struan Reid. The Young Scientist Book of Archaeology. London: Lusborne Publishing Ltd., 1984.

Davis, Don. Wheel-Thrown Ceramics. Asheville, NC: Lark Books, 1998.

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