Anatolia has long been a major pottery production center of the ancient world, dating back 7000 cal yr B.P. The Early Iron Age Urartu Kingdom (800-600 B.C.) of eastern Anatolia is known for the production of high-quality pottery, but little is known regarding firing technology and manufacture of these ceramics. Here we present a preliminary study of Urartu ceramic micromorphology and chemistry and suggest that the Urartus had good knowledge of local geology and intentionally used chemical fluxes (Pb, Rb, and Li) to attain desired firing temperatures. The sophisticated production of Urartu ceramics is comparable to later high-quality Roman pottery (terra sigillata) procured from the same area. (C) 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.