The town is sacked. Silver and gold, even bronze, are beaten into crude billets to be hauled off and melted. Houses burned; prisoners taken, or not. And in the wreckage: bones, stones, and potsherds.
Clay’s low material intrinsic value and fragility, ironically, make it endure as one of the most compelling records of the human touch on the earth. The bottom of the ovoid jug is marked by the potter’s 200-year-old fingerprints, just as the earth’s strata are uniquely marked in clay fragments by all the peoples who struggled here to endure.
Where will my pots end up? In the landfills with the lawnmowers and TVs and silicon chips—the giant middens of our insatiable desires? No matter. I am glad just to leave a record of my own touch in this most receptive fragile and enduring material.