DMPQ- Explain Ochre Coloured Pottery.

The earliest evidence of pottery manufacture comes from the site of Mehrgarh in Baluchistan, dated to 6500 BC. One of the characteristic features of the Chalcolithic period is a well-developed ceramic industry. They produced fine painted and plain and coarse pottery for a variety of purposes. Besides, the people of the Ahar and Narahan cultures also produced Black-and-Red wares. Pottery manufacture was an important craft of the Chalcolithic period and all the three techniques- handmade, slow turned table and fast wheel were in use simultaneously. The fine pottery was made from fine and pure well levigated clay whereas to produce the coarse variety, tempering materials such as fine sand, chopped grass, rice husk, cow or donkey dung, etc. were mixed in the fine clay. Invariably the fine ware was treated with various shades of red colour slip over which were executed painted decorations in black or other dark colours and then fired at 750°C. All the colours were prepared of the naturally occurring haematite rock. Usually the fine wares were fired in closed kilns with long fire chambers at the base, the evidence of which is found at sites like Inamgaon (Dhavalikar et al., 1988), Kaothe (Dhavalikar et al., 1990), Balathal (Shinde, 2000), etc. The Black-and-Red ware was possibly fired in closed kilns, but possibly the pots were kept in up-side-down (called the inverted firing technique) in the kilns for firing, different from the one used for firing other wares. Various geometric and naturalistic patterns were decorated on the upper half of the outer surface of the pottery. In case of wide mouthed pots such as bowls, they were executed on the inner surface too.

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