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The largest piece of pottery we found in this unit was a large rim piece with red paste and brown lead opaque enameling, which, by its texture, appears to be hand thrown.
By the gradual curve of the rim sherd and the enameling on both sides, I would guess that it was once part of a large vessel meant to hold water or other liquids.
The manufacture of ceramic pots and other items is generally associated with the change from Paleolithic hunter-gatherer societies into sedentary Neolithic communities, which began about 10,000 years ago in the eastern Mediterranean.
But pottery manufacture began considerably earlier in East Asia, during the late Paleolithic.
Other excavations in the area around Yuchanyan Cave have unearthed early human settlements from the Late Pleistocene period.
But dating finds from these sites have proved challenging.
Rim sherds are fragments of a vessel's rim, while base sherds are fragments of the vessel's base.
Body sherds are fragments of ceramic that are not identified as rim sherds or base sherds.
Other categories might include fragments of handles or lids.
My best, although very inexperienced, guesses for usage would be that it was either once a part of a water pitcher, or, if the West Room did, in fact, serve as a smith, at some point, that it was used to hold water for cooling hot iron.
The two pieces of white-glazed pottery from SU 12 appear to be “tin glazed lead (Florida Museum of Natural History)” earthenware, which, according to Weldrake, could suggest that it was crafted in the 16 century.