Earthenware is a term that describes ceramics that are normally fired below a temperature of 1200°C, a typical temperature for ancient pieces being approximately 800°C. Compared to ceramics fired at higher temperatures such as stoneware of porcelain, earthenwares are weaker and non-vitreous meaning they are not entirely impervious to water and hence are more subject to weathering. Earthenwares commonly include terracottas that are orange in colour due to the presence of iron in the composition of the clay, though if glazed or painted the fired clay may appear to be a range of colours, glazing may also make the piece waterproof. Examples of earthenware ceramics, whether pottery or sculpture can be found throughout the ancient world.

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