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The definition of pottery used by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) is "all fired ceramic wares that contain clay when formed, except technical, structural, and refractory products." Pottery is one of the oldest human inventions, originating before the Neolithic period, with ceramic objects like the Gravettian culture Venus of Dolní Věstonice figurine discovered in the Czech Republic date back to 29,000–25,000 BC, Pottery is made by forming a ceramic (often clay) body into objects of a required shape and heating them to high temperatures in a kiln which removes all the water from the clay, which induces reactions that lead to permanent changes including increasing their strength and hardening and setting their shape.
A clay body can be decorated before or after firing; however, prior to some shaping processes, clay must be prepared.
This shows that the vessels would typically be used to boil food, perhaps fitting into a fire. This refers to the impressions on the surface of the pottery which were created by pressing rope into the clay before it was heated to approximately 600–900 degrees Celsius.
is a type of ancient earthenware pottery which was made during the Jōmon period in Japan.
The term "Jōmon" (縄文) means "rope-patterned" in Japanese, describing the patterns that are pressed into the clay.
A common component of clay bodies is the mineral kaolinite.
Other mineral compounds in the clay may act as fluxes which lower the vitrification temperature of bodies.
There can be regional variations in the properties of raw materials used for the production of pottery, and this can lead to wares that are unique in character to a locality.