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Marl clay figurine
MFA3 1996.98


Diatomaceous marl

A friable mixture of Clay that contains a high proportion of Calcium carbonate. Marls are secondary clays that often contain Sand, iron oxide, and other impurities. Marls are most often used as alkaline additives to soil. As a pottery clay, marl tends to be aplastic and is often used for slipware, Earthenware, and Brick. Some examples of marls used in pottery are (Fournier 1996):

  • Keuper marl: contains Magnesium carbonate and Gypsum; variable in color
  • Etruria marl: contains almost no Lime
  • Cambridge marl: contains about 40% lime

Synonyms and Related Terms

Keuper marl; Etruria marl; Cambridge marl; calcareous clay; marga (Port.)

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 118
  • Henry Hodges, Artifacts: An Introduction to Early Materials and Technology, Ronald P. Frye, Kingston, Canada, 1988
  • Robert Fournier, Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Pottery, Chilton Book Company, Radnor, PA, 1992
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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