Abstract

abstract:

In ancient India, complex technologies for forming and firing pottery were developed to meet the challenges of different types of clays and available fuels, as well as diverse cultural and ritual needs. Clays, slips, and firing processes were simultaneously customized through time and space, resulting in innovative region and period-specific specialized wares. While the knowledge of some pottery making traditions was passed from one generation to the next, and can be documented to some extent today, other techniques, such as the manufacture of Northern Black Polished Ware (NBPW), have been lost. Attempts by scholars either to deconstruct this ware scientifically or reconstruct the technique experimentally have largely been unsuccessful. This article is yet another attempt to deconstruct NBPW manufacturing methods, primarily the preparation of the slip, using petrographic XRD, XRF, and microscopy on seven sherds of various shades coming from different sites and times within the peak NBPW period.

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