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Distributed for University Press of New England

Clay

The History and Evolution of Humankind’s Relationship with Earth’s Most Primal Element

Distributed for University Press of New England

Clay

The History and Evolution of Humankind’s Relationship with Earth’s Most Primal Element

More than a third of the houses in the world are made of clay. Clay vessels were instrumental in the invention of cooking, wine and beer making, and international trade. Our toilets are made of clay. The first spark plugs were thrown on the potter’s wheel. Clay has played a vital role in the health and beauty fields. Indeed, this humble material was key to many advances in civilization, including the development of agriculture and the invention of baking, architecture, religion, and even the space program. In Clay, Suzanne Staubach takes a lively look at the startling history of the mud beneath our feet. Told with verve and erudition, this story will ensure you won’t see the world around you in quite the same way after reading the book.

304 pages | 31 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Art: Art--General Studies


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments • Cooking Pots and Storage Jars: Porridge, Ale, and International Commerce • Hearth and Home: Ovens, Heat, and the Invention of Baking • The First Machine and the Development of an Industry • Set the Table: From a Simple Bowl to a 2,200-Piece Dinner Set • A Word or Two: The Invention of Writing and Books • The Most Popular Building Material: Cities, Walls, and Floors of Mud • Sanitation: A Nice Hot Bath, a Drink of Water, and Don’t Forget to Flush • Farming Made East: Irrigation, Propagation, and Incubation • Electricity, Transportation, and Rocket Science • To Your Health! • Art, Toys, Gods, Goddesses, and Fertility • A Fitting Death: Urns, Gravestones, Companions, and Thieves • Conclusion • Appendix A: How to Make Your Own Pinch Pot • Appendix B: Museums • Notes • Bibliography • Credits

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