Definition of potsherd in US English:



  • A broken piece of ceramic material, especially one found on an archaeological site.

    • ‘He curated an exhibition a couple of years ago which included a letter on a potsherd in Coptic.’
    • ‘Prehistoric pottery was abundant in the test pits, with 1,360 potsherds, including 34 rim sherds and 50 decorated body sherds, recovered.’
    • ‘You can't go anywhere really without stumbling over potsherds, coins, bones etc. in some parts of the country.’
    • ‘As the dig begins to uncover potsherds, roof tiles, stonework, utensils or even window glass, a picture is beginning to be built up of what a structure may have looked like, or been used for.’
    • ‘Among numerous pottery vessels and potsherds, 113 pieces bore 30 incised signs or symbols.’
    • ‘Other vessels and potsherds are decorated with animal figures that suggest a usage other than the merely pragmatic.’
    • ‘It was a ruin in the making, and my friends and I were camped out amid its potsherds and tumuli.’
    • ‘Archaeologists are often fearful of drifting too far from the ‘scientific’ rigour of postholes and potsherds into a reliance on what some see as ‘biased’ documents.’
    • ‘They can erase the traces of human settlement with such vigour that, often, nothing remains of a civilisation except a few potsherds, coins and glass beads.’
    • ‘Every scrape of my boot uncovered green, blue, and turquoise potsherds.’
    • ‘The field is still popularly associated more with tents than texts: stones, bones, and potsherds.’
    • ‘The majority of the finds were of fired clay in the form of whole vessels, potsherds, figurines, and pipes.’
    • ‘We surface-collected 14 chipped stone artifacts and 29 prehistoric potsherds in the course of five visits to the Robinson site in 1991.’
    • ‘Small postholes containing iron nails, early medieval potsherds and a silver coin of Ethelred II dating to 1010 suggested that the terraces had been revetted by posts.’
    • ‘Artifacts discovered here included potsherds, some tuyeres, a clay smoking-pipe, oval-shaped pieces of chalk, shells of a variety of saltwater shellfish, and mammalian bones.’
    • ‘The Mesopotamians gave to the Indus basin the name ‘Meluhha’ and there have been finds of Indus potsherds and artefacts at the royal cemetery at Ur in southern Iraq.’
    • ‘Brilliant as he was indefatigable, he recreated the Zuni past from their syllables and potsherds.’
    • ‘They are not only not interested in it, but are more interested in broken potsherds.’
    • ‘At Agadagbabou, an abandoned site, about sixty-seven percent of the potsherds recovered were undecorated.’
    • ‘Burnt lamp grease and potsherds were discovered close to the entrance passage.’