Dating techniques for pottery

St Neots Ware Shell-tempered and wheel-made but still fired in bonfire kilns or clamps.It appears in a multitude of colours that vary from black to pink to brown to red.Some of it is wheel-made, some is handmade, and the fabric usually has buff surfaces (but not always) and a blackgrey core, with some calcareous (white blobs) temper.Ely Ware is found in the Cambridgeshire fens up and down the rivers and as far north as Wisbech and Kings Lynn.Pottery identification is a valuable aid to dating of archaeological sites.Pottery is usually the most common find and potsherds are more stable than organic materials and metals.

It is also the first appearance of glazed indigenously produced pottery in this country since the Roman period.

Cassette tapes or eight-tracks might be the first things that come to mind when thinking about dated magnetic storage, but Bronze Age clay pottery has them both beat.

Using information stored in the clay’s magnetic minerals, scientists are developing methods to determine how old these artifacts are when other dating methods come up short.

Carbon dating is a widely-used technique for determining the age of archaeological discoveries, but the method only works on artifacts made from carbon-containing organic matter, like wood or cotton.

For clay pottery, archaeomagnetic specialist Michele Stillinger of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis showed that a magnetic method might work.

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