Clay The History and Evolution of Humankind's Relationship

Clay The History and Evolution of Humankind's Relationship

4 thoughts on “Clay The History and Evolution of Humankind's Relationship with Earth's Most Primal Element

  1. Tim Martin Tim Martin says:

    Clay by Suzanne Staubach is an information packed and interesting look at how one substance clay has had far reaching effects on world history culture architecture cuisine and technologyUnbelievably abundant clay from kleben German for to stick to is alumina silica and chemically bonded water Its popularity through the ages is due to its abundance plasticity and its durability after being heated even sun baked clay has considerable durability though unfired clay or raw clay has had a myriad of uses as wellClay vessels have had a huge role in how humanity has cooked and stored food With the advent of clay pots it became possible to make grains and cereals into pottages tough chunks of meat and tubers into stews and babies could be weaned earlier thanks to easily digested mush which could easily be made in clay pots Clay vessels made the brewing and consumption of alcohol possible as pottery enabled the ancient Egyptians to brew ale; the Sumerians date wine; and the Egyptians Greeks and Romans grape wine Interestingly Roman wine was thick and intensely flavored and had to be mixed with water in specially made clay vessels called kraters before drinking Clay storage vessels also kept food safe from insects rodents and moistureThe first ovens were made of clay enabling people to bake bread especially raised bread The Sumerians developed a large clay beehive oven called a tannur a type that spread to many other parts of the world including India where it came to be called the tandoor The tandoor is still in use today and tandoori cuisine is popular in many restaurants throughout the world Also the very first stoves and ranges were made of clay and their remains have been found in ancient Mesopotamian Chinese and Roman archaeological sitesPotters became the world's first industrialists as fired clay was the first synthetic substance ever created and the kiln and the potter's wheel were among the very first machines ever made Indeed it is possible that the potter's wheel predates wheels used for transportationClay of course allowed people to produce plates cups and bowls for the dinner table particularly after glazes were invented the ancient Egyptians knew of two types of low fire glazes lead and alkaline It was the Chinese who really advanced the art of producing dinnerware producing the first porcelain in the Sui dynasty the 500s AD thought it was the later Ming dynasty 1368 1644 that became truly famous for it its wonderful blue and white porcelains dishes a popular export commodity The import of Ming porcelain vastly changed European tastes leading to by the mid 16th century the need for aristocrats at least to have matching sets of china as it became known European potters were not to be outdone; Josiah Spode invented bone china or spode ware that thanks to bone ash from cattle had added stability and Josiah Wedgwood pioneered the idea of the assembly line in his potteries and made so much money he was able to finance the researches of his cousin Charles DarwinClay was key in the development of writing as the Sumerians used clay tablets for their cuneiform writing and the world's first printing press with movable type a Chinese invention of around 1041 BC used printing blocks made of fired clay Clay still has an impact on writing today as clay bonded with graphite makes it stable enabling its use in pencilsClay of course has a huge role as a building material Clay structural types include wattle and daub a woven structure of sticks or reed is covered with mud cob balls or chunks of clay mixed with straw manure and sand are stacked into walls and smoothed together adobe bricks rammed earth or pise and fired or burned brick buildings Each type of construction is not only ancient but still in use; the famed British buildings of dark beams and contrasting tan or white panels of plaster Tudor style are wattle and daub The Great Wall of China is actually multiple walls of unfired loess a type of fine grained clay bricks and burned bricks Also clay tiles have been used in buildings for thousands of years dating back to Egyptian times and becoming particularly notable in Islamic architecture in the Middle East and Central Asia while red terra cotta roof tiles have become associated with the scenic towns of the Mediterranean Mexico and South AmericaThe author showed in chapter after interesting chapter that the uses of clay throughout history have been nearly endless Clay water pipes and flush toilets have had a huge role in modern sanitation saving millions of lives from dysentery typhus typhoid fever and cholera Indeed collectors of Royal Doulton figurines and china might be interested to know that the Royal comes from the fact that Sir Henry Doulton was knighted in 1887 for his contributions to public health as his clay sewer pipes and other sanitary ware greatly improved British life Clay lined pit furnaces enabled the invention of smelting and clay crucibles were vital in producing molds so that metal tools pots and weapons could be cast Clay was used as insulation in the first internal combustion engines particularly with spark plugs Clay has had a major role in so many products including early successful false teeth they replaced inferior wooden bone or horn teeth all of which absorbed stains and eventually putrefied and stank smoking pipes even many of those made of stone pipestone were really made of clay as pipestone was known from upper Missouri River region of southwest Minnesota and was once clay compressed into stone by the weight of Ice Age glaciers fertility rituals the clay figurine the Venus of Dolni Vestonice dates back 30000 years cremation urns hearths to heat the home and grave goods including my favorite the 9000 strong terra cotta army of the First Emperor of in who died in 210 BC 7000 soldiers and 2000 horses so accurately rendered that even the underside of the shoes of the soldiers have tread

  2. Kerry Mueller Kerry Mueller says:

    Some interesting tidbits but of an annotated list than a conceptual essay I learned some things and enjoyed reading it with my phone at hand to call up pictures of wonderful Jomon and Song Dynasty pottery and cob houses and other amazing uses of clay I was hoping for sermon fodder but this wasn't the right book for that

  3. Converse Converse says:

    Focuses mainly on use of clay to make pottery less so on building writing industry Needs illustrations and also an index Facts seemed garbled in a couple places

  4. Joan Joan says:

    The writing style is dull but interesting how many uses clay has had through pre history and history

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Clay The History and Evolution of Humankind's Relationship with Earth's Most Primal Element ❮Download❯ ✤ Clay The History and Evolution of Humankind's Relationship with Earth's Most Primal Element Author Suzanne Staubach – The clay beneath our feet is crucial to the computer and space industries bio technology publishing and a wide range of manufacturing processes The potter's wheel was the very first machine With the i The clay beneath History and PDF/EPUB ç our feet is crucial to the computer and space industries bio technology publishing and a wide range of manufacturing processes The potter's wheel was the very first machine With the invention of pottery came cooking and storage vessels ceramics the discovery of alcoholic beverages the oven clay tablets for the first written communication irrigation for agriculture vast trade networks plumbing sanitation and an incredibly durable building material Much of the Great Wall Clay The PDF \ of China was made of fired clay bricks a material that can stand for centuries Now Suzanne Staubach presents a lively look at how civilization was built on clay from the first spark plugs to modern semi conductors satellite communications to surgical euipment Clay is a fascinating colorful look at how from the primordial ooze to modern miracles this The History and Evolution of Epub / most humble of substances continues to shape our world in ways limited only by the human imagination.

  • Hardcover
  • 288 pages
  • Clay The History and Evolution of Humankind's Relationship with Earth's Most Primal Element
  • Suzanne Staubach
  • English
  • 26 July 2016
  • 9780425205662

About the Author: Suzanne Staubach

Suzanne Staubach writes History and PDF/EPUB ç pots and gardens in northeast Connecticut After a long career in independent bookselling she now writes and speaks about garden and ceramic history and sells her handmade pottery nationwide She is the author of three previous bookssource.