M&M: Chamber of Cultures

Have you ever had water from a clay pot? Or has a restaurant ever served you Indian or Moghlai food in an earthen vessel? Guess where they get the idea from – early humans!

Pottery is one of the oldest creations of man. Once the man realized that clay is available in abundance and that it can be transformed into any object by mixing it with water and then firing (baking or drying something in a furnace), the roots of the ceramic industry were planted.

Things made of ceramic (something made of clay, permanently hardened by heat ) are hard yet brittle, and they neither rust like metals nor burn or melt when exposed to high temperatures. Evidence of the earliest ceramics was found in central and western Europe, which is a little female statue named the Venus of Dolní Věstonice from a small village in the Czech Republic. At an archaeological site in Japan, the oldest evidence of pottery making was found – pieces of a vessel which is about 14,920 to 16,500 years old!

Ceramic was used to make vessels to store water and food, create art objects, and even construction material. In so many parts of the world, clay vessels decorated with paint are used and even sold. After all, earthen pots do have a distinct look and feel!