The classification of pottery

The classification of pottery is not easy because, unlike monetary issues, no authority has created a coherent system. Pottery is born from the will of craftsmen to meet or create consumer needs. Through time and space, human needs are countless and so are the answers. 

However, technical, economic, functional or cultural constraints have led to consistency in production, mainly due to the need for mass production. Moreover, for more than a century, archaeologists have been trying to classify them, whose criteria are not always appropriate and whose names are often more conventional than descriptive.

Despite this fact, it is necessary to classify in order to go beyond the individual description into a historical discourse. Three class groups are the keys to understanding this material – the wares, the fabric and the type – with which individual criteria will be associated.