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RESIDUAL CLAY

Richard Willis

Depending on what one means by the word ‘residual’ — whether it is to indicate the in situ residue of one type of deteriorated rock, or whether it is to indicate the transported residue of many types of rocks — a “residual clay” (a hydrous alumina-silicate earth made up by the residue of “something”) is a primary clay or a secondary clay, respectively. Archaeologists tend to use ‘residual’ in reference to the less plastic primary clays, such as kaolin, where as ceramists tend to use the word in reference to the more plastic secondary clays, such as a “ball” — and geologists, who should be setting the standards, tend not to use the word in either context. Throughout this book, ‘residual’ is meant to indicate transported residue: surface clays as found in lake and river beds, usually quite plastic, and normally high in calcium and iron. see clay and sedimentary clay

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