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History’s Most Ancient Pottery

When it comes to ancient artwork, there isn’t much discovered so far that’s older than pottery. Not only have humans been creating pottery for many thousands of years, but it’s still very much an art form that’s alive today, although perhaps not quite as prolific.

Almost all ancient cultures used pottery in one form or another. It gave our ancestors the ability to store both food and water, but also the chance to express themselves by using their creativity. Here we will look at some of the oldest pottery in the world.

Navajo Pottery

The Navajo people are still making pottery to this day, but they don’t limit themselves to the traditional designs and patterns that their ancestors use. The most ancient artefacts made by the Navajo date back to as far back as 1700 BC. They focused mainly on creating pottery that was as functional as possible, meaning there was less emphasis on design, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t unique to the people at the time. Some design can be found etched around the ceramics, even if it’s fairly minimal.

Aztec Pottery

The Aztec Empire of South America was one of the most creative civilisations of all time, and have been regarded by historians as some of the greatest producers of pottery of the last few thousand years. Pottery was owned by both the lower and upper class, although their design and quality differed greatly.

Those with more power and money tended to have pottery that was much more about the aesthetic, while poorer classes used ceramics for functional purposes, such as holding water. Most of the pottery had a distinct red hue to them, which was due to the type of clay that was found in the region.

Greek Pottery

The ancient Greeks were famous across the world for the incredible art that they created, with much of their focus being on making pottery that depicted their beliefs and stories. One of the most famous is a piece that has a black figure etched on to it and is arguably the most famous piece from the time, but there are countless other examples of the fine craftsmanship displayed by the Greeks.

They loved to tell the stories of heroes and gods through their work, which could be found on plates, cups, jars, pots, and much more. Historians and archaeologists have been able to save around 20,000 such examples, and can be found in museums across the world, and it’s completely worth saving up winnings from sites found at to go and see as many as possible.

Kenyan Clay Pots

Ancient Kenyans were some of the first people in the world to refine the process of making pottery from clay, and many of their pots are believed to have been created as far back as 8000 years ago. Designs were almost always unique to the different tribes that made them, and it’s given historians the chance to see the differences between each, including what languages they used, their individual traditions, and much more. Kenyans began to learn to make pottery from a very young age, and it’s a skill they honed throughout their lives.