As for metal and glass, the study of ceramics on its own can provide the substance for a book - and indeed it has. For example, a comprehensive publication by Prudence Rice (1987) has considered the full complexity of ceramic technology; a volume edited by Freestone and Gaimster (1997) provides a broad and informative consideration, based on short case studies, of the range of ancient ceramic technology. Even though this chapter focuses on the techniques of ceramic production, and the technology involved in forming and firing pottery, there are associated realms of study which should not be forgotten, and provide a more holistic approach. Certainly the 'evolution' of ceramic technology is undeniable, but there are many exceptions to what some people might call progress. There are certain assumptions in the study of pottery from an evolutionary perspective. Perhaps the most significant is the assumption that raw materials are chosen because they impart specific properties to the clays when they are being formed into a pot, when they are fired and when being used in one or more contexts. Of course in many cases this is true - simply because the behaviour of the pottery has been observed and the technology has developed on the strength of those observations. Related to the more deterministic area of pottery research is that of ceramic ecology, the study of ceramic production in relation to the exploitation of raw materials in the environment in which it occurs (Matson 1965; Kolb 1989).