Use of clay and glaze - updated

below - There Is clay on Mars

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I have my own kiln and occasionally make pottery and woodash glazes. There is something that all potters do when firing pottery that is glazed. At the base of the pot the glaze must be wiped off or the piece will stick to the kiln bats. Same goes where any clay is going to be touching, like a lid. A lid is better if it's fired in place on the opening so that the clay expands and contracts together so making a better fitting lid. The glaze has to be wiped off before firing from the proximity of any contact points. The image above has the wipe line on the base and also around the top of the other half of this broken piece opposite side of the image. The worn knobbly piece between looks like a stopper.

I am unable to say what material the glazed artefacts are but evidence of a glaze is present and appears deliberate.

It may be possible to bake a wood-glazed stone by an open fire but I seriously doubt that this is the base material. If there was once wood for the fuel and glaze material then the most logical explanation is that the base material is clay. There is at least one example of a broken artefact which has the wipe line where glaze was removed, on both pieces, to facilitate firing. This has very important ramifications as it requires the presence of wood and therefore water. It could imply some kind of enclosed firing method.


I came to the Mars Curiosity rovers photographs, not from a scientific study but from an artists perspective. I apologise for not researching thoroughly before adding information about the clay on Mars. I was under the impression that Mars was a lifeless place, devoid of water and therefore of clay. I did think that at some time there could have been life there.

But there again, I belong to a generation who were educated to believe that there was no water at all outside our atmosphere, that Earth is unique and there is no life anywhere else in the Universe!!

Geocentric or what!?


Finding the images of obviously intelligently "made" artifacts including the glazed pottery created a huge conflict in my understanding. Even then I didn't find information or even look in the scientific literature that had been allover the internet for years!! It has been known since at least 2009, and probably before, that clay existed on Mars.

Here are a few links with information about the abundance of clay and therefore water on Mars.

Clays On Mars: More Plentiful Than Expected

Curiosity Finds Clay on Mars

Mars Rover Opportunity Examines Clay Clues in Rock

Incredible pictures of Mars - and they look surprisingly like some parts of Earth (tabloid 2008)

There Is Evidence found by NASA's Opportunity rover that clay is present in a rock called Esperance

"On July 10th 2013 Opportunity celebrates the 10th anniversary of it's launch and more than 9 years on Mars The Opportunity rover has found that liquid water was once present.

For the last 20 months Opportunity has been working the rim of Endeavour Crater. There Opportunity found deposits of gypsum, probably formed from ground water seeping out through cracks in the martian soil.

Opportunity has also found chemistry indicative of clay minerals in a rock named Esperance. "A lot of water moved through this rock," says Steve Squires of Cornell University, principle investigator for the mission.

"These results were some of the most important findings of our entire mission."

This quote is from the video linked here:

Watch ScienceCasts: Opportunity's Improbable Anniversary, Published on YouTube 27 Jun 2013

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