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Inclusions in the pottery, to prevent shrinkage in the kiln, vary between geological regions.

Differences in style and fabric helps pottery specialists to identify vessels which are not of local manufacture.

The main requirements of the industry were: This means that production sites were generally situated on clay subsoils near woodland in rural areas.

Rural potteries probably only operated part-time and the potters were peasants who spent most of their time farming.

In Britain, pottery was made from the Neolithic (New Stone Age) period onwards, although some parts of the British Isles were aceramic (did not produce pottery) at various points in time. This crudeness is related to the function of the vessels, which had to withstand thermal shock when placed on a fire for cooking.

This is because pottery is: Small fragments of pottery, known as sherds or potsherds, are collected on most archaeological sites.The similarity between Iron Age and Saxon pottery, particularly in East Anglia, can cause problems where no other dating evidence is available.There is a large amount of archaeological evidence for the pottery industry from the Middle Saxon period onwards, in the form of products and production sites.It was a family industry, continuing through generations.Clay pits were usually dug quite close to the kiln, on the peasant's croft or common.

Similarly, there is little evidence for tools used. were probably employed, but these would be difficult to distinguish from domestic ones.

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