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Clay is fundamental to creation stories across the globe: Khnum, the ancient Egyptian deity, was said to mold children from clay and place them in their mother’s womb; in Greek legend Prometheus made the first humans from clay and animated them with fire stolen from the gods; in Jewish tradition a golem fashioned from clay can be animated by written spells. Similar stories exist in African and indigenous American culture, in the Qur’an, the Hebrew Old Testament, and Hindu mythology. In each case clay represents a pre-existing chaos out of which the bodies of humans are formed by an inspired or divine potter. Clay therefore has a fundamental place in global culture, and ceramics are the original material of creative expression.