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Word Count: 738
Our knowledge of ancient science and technology is based entirely on what we have uncovered at archeological sites When researchers first started finding things belonging to ancient peoples they formed ideas about how those people lived and operated in their society As more information came to light many ideas had to be changed New discoveries enabled researchers to get a clearer picture of how certain areas of the ancient world practiced their trade Many of the new discoveries had to do with pottery There is now an abundance of information telling us about ancient potters concerning how they produced their wares and to where these wares were sold Apart from the progression from open fire to the use of kilns more specific elements of the pottery process were revealed With the use of modern technology researchers realized that the ancient potters were not just using whatever clay was available but were using certain kinds As the craft developed the potters learned which clay to use for its strength and color We now know that it is the levels of iron and calcium contained in the clay that determine these things Also it was discovered that contrary to popular belief paint was not used to illustrate the pottery Instead a mixture of clay and water called a slip was used The slip was added before the clay was fired To get the change in color desired the potters probably unaware of the chemistry involved deprived the fire of oxygen at one point in the process and then reintroduced it Another big discovery was the terra sigillata molds These molds were used to mass-produce a certain kind of pottery The pottery was called Samian ware Samian ware was the ancient equivalent of fine china It was all red and had a glossy shine to it And usually when a potter would make this stuff he would add his trademark his symbol The symbol became a mark
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