Experimental archaeology is a way to recreate the past using present day materials. In order to understand how clay pots were made and used by prehistoric peoples, experiment by making pottery at home!
Step 1 – Choose your clay
- Option 1: Natural clay can be found near places with water. Try searching around the edge of creeks, riverbeds, streambeds, or even the beach!
- Option 2: Purchase clay from a craft or art store.
Step 2 – Build your pot using prehistoric techniques
- A. Modelling Technique
- B. Edge-Stacking Slab Technique
- C. Coil Technique
Step 3 – Decorate your pot with prehistoric tools
- Incisors (sticks, antler, shell) to create designs
- Net or cords to create texture
- Modern tools (skewer, fork, pencil, etc.)
Step 4 – Air dry or fire your pot
- For air-drying clay, leave pot outside in a dry environment exposed to the sun for 1-2 days
- To fire your pot, use a campfire or fire pit with help from an adult
Send us a picture of the ceramics you make to be featured in our online exhibit!
1461 Bridgeton Road
Greenwich, New Jersey 08323
Helpful Links to Make Prehistoric Ceramics
Helpful Links for Educators