Fairly coarse, porous clay that, when fired, assumes a colour ranging from dull ochre to red. Terra-cotta objects are usually left unglazed and are often of a utilitarian kind, because of their cheapness, versatility, and durability. Small terra-cotta figures from 3000 BC have been found in Greece and others throughout the Roman Empire from the 4th century BC. The use of terra-cotta virtually died out when the Roman Empire collapsed, but it was revived in Italy and Germany in the 15th century.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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