Understanding Ancient

Pottery Making


The China Ceramic Petrography Database, hosted on the OpenContext web platform, is an open access repository of ceramic petrographic data from across China. Initially developed by Dr. Womack and his colleagues Dr. Anke Hein of Oxford University, the bilingual database allows for scholars around the world to contribute and access data in order to improve our understanding of ceramic production and sourcing. Recently the database has been upgraded by lab members Yuyang Wang, Yahui He, and

Shandong University postdoctoral scholar Dr. Lu Qingyu to contain both Chinese and English descriptions of database categories and contribution guidelines. More additions to the site are currently being developed and we welcome contributions of data from sites across China.

Current Projects

China Ceramic Petrography Database

This project aims to compile information from petrographic research on archaeological ceramics and geological samples from across China.


Womack, Andrew and Hui Wang. 2020. “Formation and Function of Majiayao and Qijia Pottery: Analysis of Formation Marks and Use-alteration on Vessels from the Tao River Valley.” Asian Perspectives 59:1, p.2-32;

Womack, Andrew, Hui Wang, Jing Zhou, and Rowan Flad. 2019. “A petrographic analysis of clay recipes in Late Neolithic north-western China: continuity and change.” Antiquity 93:371, p.1161-1177;

Womack, Andrew, Tim Horsley, Hui Wang, Jing Zhou, and Rowan Flad. 2019. “Assessing Site Organization and Development Using Geophysical Prospection at Dayatou, Gansu, China.” Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 27: p.1-12;