The discovery of pottery played a crucial role in the development of human civilizations throughout the world. What may be the world’s oldest pots were discovered in caves in China a few years ago. These pots have been carbon dated to be as many as 18,300 years old, a solid millennium older than the pots who previously held the record.
Aside from the astounding age of these pots, the mere fact that they existed at all is a crucial development in human mastery of the earth and water. Creating pottery requires knowledge of a host of natural phenomena, and leads to a score of more advanced developments. A civilization that can make pottery necessarily understands how to make clay, which is a base form of manipulating everyday chemicals. Such a civilization has also discovered that heat causes moisture to evaporate, though they probably didn’t have such a scientific understanding of what was happening behind the scenes.
Aside from enabling people to hold liquids, which is a massive advancement in and of itself, claywork and pottery gave human creations a sort of permanency. This idea then extends to making sculpture, shelter, and then monuments. Human accomplishment starts small and then grows exponentially.Read More