Part of speech: noun
Origin: Middle English, 14th century
A broken piece of ceramic material, especially one found on an archaeological site.
Examples of Potsherd in a sentence
"Charlotte was surprised to find potsherds in the lower depths of her backyard garden."
"The archaeological dig revealed only rocks until Dr. Jones discovered a potsherd."
Popularity Over Time
“Potsherd” is an English compound merging “pot,” from the Latin “pottis,” meaning “pot,” and “shard,” from the Old English “sceard,” meaning “notched” or “broken.”
Did you Know?
Hunting for ancient potsherds remains a popular pastime in England, where pieces of Roman pottery have been found dating as far back as 400 BCE. Britons often find potsherds while “mudlarking,” a term for searching the mud of riverbanks for valuable artifacts. Mudlarking has always been popular in London, because the water level of the river Thames fluctuates daily. This shifting water line provides easy access to a riverbed that has been the site of more than 2000 years of continuous human activity. As a result, the Thames riverbed is a rich source of potsherds, as well as other archaeological artifacts.