When digging for clues about an ancient society's culture, nothing is more valuable to an archaeologist than ceramic remnants. Dawn Whitehand explains why. Her text is the first to comprehensively explore the complex nature of pit firing based on historical evidence and the artistic perspectives of contemporary ceramicists. Many specialist texts discuss ceramics from an artistic, craft-based, anthropological, archaeological, or historical viewpoint. This book draws information from all these sources and presents it in an informative and accessible manner. Included is a historical chapter, a how-to chapter, and a series of artist profiles that showcase the pit fired ceramics of contemporary practitioners. The book contains detailed photographs of the process and a glossary for those who wish to further explore pit firing and ceramics. It will appeal to everyone from the novice ceramicist to the serious art historian and collector.