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clay
Soil composed of the dust from igneous rocks mixed with water. Soft and sticky, it can be moulded or cut into shapes which are hardened on exposure to heat. The first known form of handwriting, cuneiform script, was on tablets of clay and developed in Mesopotamia c.3000 bc. Clay has been used for many purposes including the manufacture of seals, bricks, tiles, jars, and jugs.

Text source: The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms (2nd Edition) by Michael Clarke


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