One origin myth of ceramics: that far back in prehistory, basket makers packed their containers with clay to form a lining, and one day dropped one of these vessels into a fire, finding, when the ashes cooled, that the clay had hardened and remained where the woven structure was destroyed.(1)
(1) The story is circulated in, for example, Susan Peterson & Jan Peterson, The Craft and Art of Clay: A Complete Potter’s Handbook (London: Lawrence King, 2003), 263. For a more nuanced account of the evolution, see Peter Jordan and Marek Zvelebil (eds), Ceramics Before Farming: The Dispersal of Pottery Among Prehistoric Eurasian Hunter-Gatherers (London and New York: Routledge, 2016), 53.
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