Ceramics is one of the most ancient industries going back thousands of years. Once humans discovered that clay could be found in abundance and formed into objects by first mixing with water and then firing, a key industry was born. The first evidence of human-made ceramics date back to at least 24,000 years BC, and were found in Czechoslovakia and were in the form of animal and human figurines, slabs, and balls. These ceramics were made of animal fat and bone mixed with bone ash and a fine claylike material. After forming, the ceramics were fired at temperatures between 500-800°C in domed and horseshoe shaped kilns partially dug into the ground with loess walls.
Use of tools made of ceramics increased rapidly during the Neolithic period, with the establishment of communities dedicated to agriculture, land cultivation and farming.
In the West, pottery is associated with creation and decoration of vases, known as the Neolithic art, which was popular in Ancient Greece. Many art critics consider Greek pottery to represent the zenith of ceramic art.
One of the most important breakthroughs in the production of ceramics was the invention of the wheel, in 3,500 BCE. The wheel allowed for the utilisation of the wheel-forming technique to produce ceramic vessels with radial symmetry.
Meanwhile, ceramic pottery evolved in its use of increasingly elaborated paintings, so that these objects eventually became genuine pieces of art.