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Ceramics : A Global History is proud to be a part of one of the most ancient industries of the world. Yes. Ceramics is a older than 2400 BC, as clay figures of humans and animals have been discovered that would have existed in 2400 B.C.

Historians feel that the nomads who lived on the river would have abundance of wet clay at their disposal. The clay would have been dug out and given a form. The forms once dried would have been fired as an experiment and would have surprised the nomads with a clay utensil or a figure.

Here will summarize the history of ceramics with findings from around the world collected and compiled by our team. We would like to clarify that this is not all, as the history of ceramics is very wide and deep to cover. We will be putting up a blog to do the same and involve some historians for the same.

Mesopotamia, China and India are believed to be the founding communities of ceramics.

Mesopotamia is where the potters wheel was invented in the 4th millennium BC. The invention was largely confined to the Mesopotamian region and very slowly spread in Eurasia and Some parts of Africa. Later as the Europeans moved across the globe, the invention made inroads in other communities as well.

Glazed Bricks and colored bricks are found in Ishar Gate of Babylon (575 BCE) in Mesopotamia. As Mesopotamian movements in other countries flourished, the ceramics growth too spread. Persian Empire gives the evidence of Mesopoamian styles emerging in architecture in Persia.

From Persia, the ceramic technology moved to Islamic country where Iznik pottery is seen. Turkey was the base and this growth was under Ottoman Empire in 16th and 17th centuries.

One of the finest innovations in the ceramic industry was made in Tunisia or there about is lustre technology that can be seen in Mosque of Uqba.

IN the similar manner, ceramic spread into Islamic Spain, largely in Portugal. The evidence is abundant in palaces and paintings of Holland and other European countries.


The favorite of the Ottoman Sultans, the Celadon was developed in China in the 13th Century Song Dynasty. Its uniqueness was for the royals. It was believed that the celadon would change color if the wine or drink was poisonous.

The Chinese have a very deep culture of ceamics since then. 100 Ad to 200 AD (Eastern HAN Period) followed later by six dynasties till 598 AD. The Tang Dynasty already had a capability of large scale production.

It is no wonder that China is coming up as a very important ceramic destination of the world.

Apart from China, Japan and Korea, too have a very good history of ceramics.

6th Millenium BC : Jomon Ware
4th Century BC : Yayoi Style
3rd / 4th Century AD : High Temperature Kiln

Japan Overlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi was the main character of Ceramic Wars of the Chinese inventions in 1590s. Yi Sam Pyeong a potter who emigrated from Korea invented Porcelain in Arita.

Western Asia and the Middle East: Islamic Art

This region was the quickest to be influenced by Mesopotamian and Persian styles in Ceramic Tiles. The Islamic Potters found opacified glazing. Tin Opacified Glazing is vastly seen in blue painted ware in Basra which is believed to have developed in 8th century. The Islamic Pottery styles have also been influenced by Chinese ceramic traditions because of trade ties among these countries. Iznik Pottery is one such example.

Iraq Cairo Damascus all have had a very good ceramic use. This is evident in Stoneware from Iraq (9th Century) Pottery of Syria (8th century) Iznik Pottery in Anatolia. There are many other historical evidences of the vast use of pottery and ceramics in Asia, largely influenced by both European and Chinese traditions, mixed with Islamic vision.


India too has a very string historical evidence of use of ceramics. However, the same can be seen in the section under HISTORY OF INDIAN CERAMICS.


Akrtiri, a island in Greece boasts of ceramic usage in 3rd and 4th millennium BC. Some of the discoveries through excavation of homes point out to usage of ceramics in form of storage jars.

Black Figure and Red figure styles have been identified as popular Greek and Etruscan ceramics Figuritive paintings. Ancient Roam pottery shows copies of metalware, one o them being Samian Ware. Rome was always the centre of History, however not much has been left to investigate as it is believed that a lot of it was destroyed or Greeks did not use ceramics for luxury purposes to be saved.

Porcelain Import and Development in Europe.

It is well known that Porcelain was developed and commercially used in China. In 16th century the same was imported from China and efforts were made to reinvent it in Europe as well. Florence gives evidence of use of porcelain dating to the 17th century. The unsuccessful attempts were soon replace by Hard Paste design porcelain invented in 1710 at Dressden at a Meissen Factory. Within a decade, a plethora of Porcelain manufacturers erupted all along Europe, Bavaria and Naples being the leaders.

Porcelain was the right choice for artistic creations and expensive utensils and storages largely used as luxury show pieces than functional Tableware. The rich and Famous and the growing upper middle class in Europe actually fancied these table ware and was a part of every cultured rich home.

Ceramic Development in the 18th and the 19th century Europe were immense. In fact sanitation and Glazed tiles usages started in Europe. They were the commercializing pioneers of sanitary ware and tiles for flooring and walls. The hygienic viewpoint with time took the augmentation to sanitation with style. Functionality, style and ease of use of the ceramics wares in Europe is the most appreciated across the world. Italy and Spain being leaders in innovation and development, the whole European subcontinent directly and indirectly fuel the growth of ceramics usage across the world.

America Continents

America got most of its ceramic growth from Europe. However, some parts of America already had some influence from the first generation MesoAmerica. Along the Pacific Coast, there are a lot of discoveries in Equador and Andrea that show the methods of their ceramic goods developed.

Largely though the European settlements in America actually bought about the ceramic revolution in America.

The above is just a glimpse of the History of world of Ceramics.

Years Development

24,000 B.C.

Ceramic figurines used for ceremonial purposes

14,000 B.C.

First tiles made in Mesopotamia and India

9000-10,000 B.C.

Pottery making begins

5000-8000 B.C.

Glazes discovered in Egypt

1500 B.C.

Glass objects first made

1550 A.D.

Synthetic refractories (temperature resistant) for furnaces used to make steel, glass, ceramics, cement, glass, ceramics, cement

Mid 1800’s

Porcelain electrical insulation Incandescent light bulb


High-strength quartz-enriched porcelain for insulators Alumina spark plugs Glass windows for automobiles


Capacitors and magnetic ferrites


Alumina insulators for voltages over 220 kV Application of carbides and nitrides


Introduction of high-performance cellular ceramic substrates for catalytic converters and particulate filters for diesel engines


High temperature superconductors

There is a lot more that we believe we will update with time on our blogs. We are also looking to involve people to give us information and correct us if there is some mistake in the article.

Suggestions Are welcome.