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What kind of evidence can indicate pottery in prehistory was used for cooking? 
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This is a very complex question. Today a combination of diverse methods is used. A combination of chemistry, microarchaeobotany and non-pollen palynomorfs as in the case of our ceramic pans from the Neolithic period indicated baking of meat with cereals and wild plants. See:
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An area where significant "dating inflation" seems to have gotten hold is Early Neolithic Archeology. For example, I hold the theory that Gobekli Tepe is not a Pre Pottery Neolithic A/B site. See for example my paper here (one among a number of papers I have written on the topic of Gobekli Tepe):
(15) (PDF) A Primer on Gobekli Tepe (researchgate.net)
It is common practice in Science, to provide alternative theoretical perspectives when writing on a topic. However, rarely one comes across such practice in the field of Archeology. Instead, a diverse set of groups seems to accept this dating inflation unquestionably, because it apparently suits their (different) ideological perspective(s).
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Thanks for your reply Edmond; I'll take a look at your citations and will write to you my reactions. Again, I appreciate the time you took to write your response to my Q.
Greetings from Florida
Have a nice day!
Dimitrios Dendrinos
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Dear all,
I am processing nondiagnostic pottery shards. I analysed fragmentation and abrasion in the field.
I first divided my nondiagnostics into clay groups. After that for each clay group I sorted out the individual shards according to size categories using a grid (1x1cm, 2x2cm, 3x3cm etc) and I also analysed shards from each clay group according to 3 levels of abrasion.
Now, I want to calculate the level of fragmentation and abrasion of each clay group. Any suggestion on what would be the best way to do this?
Best wishes,
Uros
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Dear Uros,
i agree with Christoph Keller the sherd weight is a proxy for the sherd volume/size and already an indicator for pottery fragmentation. You can simply investigate sherd weights within each clay group and abrasion category (e.g. with boxplots or summary statistics). Best regards. Robin
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Some time after the Samarra phase begun, glazed pottery became more common. I would like to know the timeline, examples of the types of glaze, and images of the pottery, please.
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The term, "Samarra-type pottery", perhaps mostly applies to pottery dated in proximity ca. ninth century A.D..
What would be the correct term to use for the pottery that is dated prior to this date?
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Hello,
In the framework of a broader article on Hellenistic ceramics in Central Asia, I worked on grey-black paste ceramics in order to try to establish connections between Central Asia and the Mediterranean world. One of the objectives was to specify the chronology of their appearance but also to understand if there was a cultural link between this ceramic and the evolution of the colonization of Central Asia during the Seleucid and Greek-Bactrian period. This unpublished work could be an interesting field of work for those who have already had the opportunity to work on the subject in other parts of the Hellenized world. The question is whether this type of pottery corresponds to specific needs, to specific tastes for a particular population.
Thank you for your help.
JBHoual
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Dear J-B., Working with clay/ceramics, I have encountered three ways pottery can turn grey/black.
1. Manganese containing clay or the addition of manganese to a sort of clay
2. Iron-bearing clay that during firing in a kiln under reducing conditions converts hematite (Fe3O4) into magnetite which is black (Fe2O3) or
3. A clay that was taken from the coast closeby a sea or ocean. Most of the Greek island clays are grey/black.
We were able to analyze the above points by using neutron activation analysis (INAA) in our lab at Jerusalem. Success.
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I want to measure export potentiality of pottery industry's products of Bangladesh.
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Distance is one of the important variables that explain volume of trade. Theoretically, distance has negative relationship with trade.
Include distance as one of the variables.
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Hello.
I am looking for a database or an application (whatever else) that would be able to return words divided into syllables plus where I can set how many syllables these words should have (= I need three-syllables words and their division, like "pottery: pot - ter - y" etc.).
Any help please?
Thanks a lot.
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According with Dexippos Hypothesis one, two, and three literal strings in Greek are meaningful primitive vocal expressions that may have infiltrated into other younger languages. Examples: Alpha to Tau, EN, IN, AN, etc., ART, ALP, etc. Contact dexipposg@gmail.com
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Vanchhia is a site in the south eastern part of Mizoram and is currently being excavated by the Archaeological Survey of India. No written report is available from them so far. I would very much like to have your opinion as this would help the local people to understand and care for their heritage. The site is spread over 30/50 m approx. A few iron pestles have been reported from this site, as well fragmented pottery from the 'holes.' However, I wasn't shown these things.
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Stefan very interesting feedback. Your picture shows very hard ad rocky surface . But here soils are very porous and rich haematite , limonite etc and soils are highly weathered in nature...Though this is not the area of my expertise , you are better person to judge...
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Hi, I am looking for a way to use rhinoceros (a engineering app) to create pottery plates/profiles. Pottery plates/profiles are use in archaeology to establish a relative chronology.
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Thank you. I will.
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The pottery fabric is light brown with a white slip. There is a line of  circles, 80mm dia on 120mm centers, inscribed around the vessel. See the attached picture of the sherd.
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Timothy: I have access to JSTOR. Thanks.
Hatice: Thanks. The circle decorations on my sherd seem to be inscribed rather than stamped.
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I think I would be necessary to start a Field-Project on the Caves of southern Catalonia with Bronze Age Occupation  (Cova del Janet, etc.) studying Morphology, Space, Geological Features using modern Techniques. There are excellent older Studies written by Salvador Vilaseca, but as an Arcaheologist studying the Pottery of these Sites, I would like to know how these Places are like and how they might appear in tridimensional Computer Views.
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La verdad es que yo no trabajo sobre este período, quizás le interesaría contactar con Jordi Diloli, profesor de la Universitat Rovira i Virgili de Tarragona, quien quizás podría ayudarle.
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I am interested in questions concerning the decoration of late bronze age pottery in europe and elements like crosses of possible symbolic meaning.
Not necesessarily a cross must have the ame being at all times and in all cultural groups. Could anyone help me with bibliiography on this ?
Thanks
Joachim Neumaier
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Although it is dated as a text what about AD Lacy (1967) Greek Pottery in the Bronze Age, this did attempt to publish all the then known motifs from this important Bronze Age pottery industry and such catalogues are always valuable for comparative purposes
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I'm interested in cross-referencing stylistic attributes with petrology, so studies that look at mineral sources would be particularly helpful (though information on only one aspect would still be useful), and I'm open to data from anywhere in Europe.
Thanks in advance.
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Hello
Have a look on the papers of Laure Salanova (French CNRS), Olivier Lemercier (Montpellier university) and Fabien Convertini (Inrap), all available on Researgate. They should be of great help.
Yours
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I was wondering if anyone has ever come across ceramic disks from prehistoric contexts, huts in particular. By ceramic disks I mean sherds from pots' wall, reworked in such a way to eventually look like a disk (few cms in diameter).
In particular, I am interested in knowing if there is any ethnographic comparison that could shed light on the possible function, or if there is any evidence hinting at their use in the context of pottery production (e.g., use as pottery surface polishers).
Thanks for any insight.
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Gianmarco,
there are a variety of hypotheses on the use of such discs based on form and morphology. The easiest ones are those round to ovoid ones with centrally drilled holes which were used as spindle whorls, but there are also others with offset and/or multiple holes which seemingly wouldn't have worked on a weaving loom. Those disks are believed to have been bull roarers or similar implements.
Some of the early colonial Pueblo sites here in the US Southwest that I've been working on have produced an astounding variety of undrilled shaped discs, from roundish to ovoid to rectangular to triangular. The standard interpretation for those sherds is that they were used as gaming pieces, an interpretation which may well be accurate for most of them (e.g. Gaming in the Rio del Norte: Defining the Typology and Usage of Modified -Potsherds at Pot Creek Pueblo (LA 260, TA 1), @ http://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1016&context=socanth_honproj). See also this short summary of Native American games: http://moa.wfu.edu/files/2012/04/Fun-and-Games-Teachers-Guide.pdf
More recently, however, especially the rounded variety in Greek/Roman contexts (pessoi) has been subject to more detailed forensic analysis, and it has turned out that they may have been the equivalent of toilet paper - see Philippe Charlier et al., Toilet hygiene in the classical era, British Medical Journal, 2012. This is a very interesting article, to say the least. I seem to remember a similar analysis was done on some prehistoric Puebloan ceramic discs, with similar results, but I need to search where I read that.
Hope this helps a bit .
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I am really interested in pottery examples, particularly in high quality archaeological records. I have references in the south of France (Craponoz), Alps (Faudon), and one published example in the Iberian Peninsula (Ausa). We have an interesting example (in study) in a well defined archaeological record recovered in the north of Iberian Peninsula.
Any information around this topic will be very welcome
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Dear José,
please find these papers attached:
Andreas Haasis-Berner, Hörner aus Keramik – Wallfahrtsdevotionalien oder Signalhörner? Zeitschrift für Archäologie des Mittelalters 22, 1994, S. 15–38.
Günter Mangelsdorf, Das Aachhorn von Greifswald – ein Beitrag zur mittelalterlichen Devotionalienkunde, Bodendenkmalpflege in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Jahrbuch 39, 1991, S. 219–225.
The ceramic horn from Greifswald is from a context from the 15th century.
Best wishes,
Stefan
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Appearance of ceramics:
  Southeastern United States ca. 5000 BP
  Northern South America ca. 6950 BP
  Southeast Asia ca. 7950 BP
  Mediterranean Europe ca. 8350 BP
 It is generally accepted that a more sedentary lifestyle allowed more free time. At first pottery vessels were plain, but rapidly decorations came into being. These decorations were simple punctations, combing, and impressions (stamped with everyday objects). Soon came more complex designs involving more than one decorating instrument.
 Why spend time and energy decorating an object that, during that time period, had a very short lifespan? Ownership/Signature? Aesthetics? Art?
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hi A.green,maybe in the beginning times it was only simple pattern that imitated from the nature but later with developing human's lifestyle,it became very complex.specially in the middle east region,pottery and its motif used for transfer human idea,religion and so on. in scientific excavation of prehistoric sites ,specially,we found similar samples from wares and potsherd that have in their bottoms potter's signature in abstract-concept's shape several times...
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Does anybody know support-pots with a rectangular shape such as those from the attached picture dated in Neolithic or other prehistoric periods?
In Romania, they are specific to Boian culture, final phases (ca. 5000-4500 BC).
Thanks in advance.
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Dear Catalin,
I hope you will find which you searched at the below.
Özdoğan, M. 1983“Pendik: A Neolithic Site of Fikirtepe Culture in the Marmara Region”, R. M. Boehmer ve H. Hauptmann (yay.) Beiträge zur Altertumskunde Kleisasien, Festschrift für Kurt Bittel: 401-411. Verlag Philipp von Zabern, Mainz.
Özdoğan, M. 1989“Neolithic Cultures of Northwestern Turkey”, S. Bökönyi (yay.) Neolithic of Southeastern Europe and its Near Eastern Connections: 201-215. Varia Archaeologica Hungarica II, Budapest.
 Özdoğan, M., Y. Miyake ve N. Özbaşaran-Dede 1991“An Interim Report on the Excavations at Yarımburgaz and Toptepe in Eastern Thrace”, Anatolica XVII: 59-121.
Özdoğan, M. 1996“Tarihöncesi Çağlarda İstanbul/ İstanbul during Prehistoric Periods”, M. Beykan (yay.), İstanbul, World City: 88-101. HABİTAT II, Türkiye Ekonomik ve Toplumsal Tarih Vakfı, İstanbul. written in turkish
Özdoğan, M. 1999“Northwestern Turkey: Neolithic Cultures in Between the Balkans and Anatolia”, M. Özdoğan ve N. Başgelen (yay.) Neolithic in Turkey: 203-224. Arkeoloji ve Sanat Yayınları, İstanbul.
Özdoğan, M. 2000“The Appearance of Early Neolithic Cultures in Northwestern Turkey. Some Problems”, S. Hiller ve V. Nikolov (yay.) Karanovo III Beiträge zum Neolithikum in Südosteuropa: 165-170. Phoibos Verlag, Wien.
Özdoğan, M. 2003“The Prehistory of Northwestern Turkey”, D. V. Grammenos (yay.) Recent Research in the Prehistory of the Balkans: 329-368. Archaeological Institute of Northern Greece and the Archaeological Receipts Fund, Thessaloniki.
Özdoğan, M. 2004“The Fourth Millennium in Eastern Thrace: an Archaeological Enigma”, B. Hänsel ve E.Studeniková (yay.) Zwischen Karpaten und Ägäis. Neolithikum und Ältere Bronzezeit: 19-26. Verlag Marie Leidorf GmbH, Rahden.
Özdoğan, M. 2011“Eastern Thrace: The Contact Zone between Anatolia and the Balkans”, S. R. Steadman ve G. McMahon (yay.) The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Anatolia (10,000-323 B.C.E.): 657-682. Oxford University Press, New York.
best regards,
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At two sites in Roman Britain, I have noticed bowls and a dish in 'samian ware' [terra sigillata] pierced, post cocturam, with occasional holes: the holes are too large to be the standard, small rivet-holes which were commonly used to repair pots with metal-work here.
The holes in question are of diameter c 8 mm and were pierced through the lower wall or base, above the footring of the vessel. Just 'flying kites' here, but... Were these vessels pierced for hanging up by a cord, or some ritual or culinary purpose? One hole shows smoothing or rubbing of the hole: it seems more likely that the hole was smoothed to stop the cord from snagging on a rough edge, than that the cord's rubbing caused the hole to be smoothed. Or was it smoothed for pouring?
So far, the only two sites at which I have noted these large holes are amphitheatres. This may be fortuitous, as such holes may have been described in excavation reports as repair-work. However, amphitheatres had external stalls and booths, portable ovens, etc. So far, the only Roman depictions found of pots hanging up are a few sculptures which show wine-sellers with flagons hanging up, but hung by the handle. I have found references in classical literature which may be relevant, but more would be appreciated.
Without more evidence, it will be impossible to give a firm answer to the question of their function, but any further ideas would be welcome!
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i have two suggestions based on seeing pottery in Pompeii from two gardens - the holes are large because the pot was potentially used to establish a plant - the holes may have been smaller to start with and made larger to allow the root system to eventually grow larger and penetrate soil - and become established.  Eventually the pot is removed.  This is a practice through time when you have a precious but vulnerable young plant - a staged planting out, where the pot forms protection and an attractive container until the plant is mature.  I also don't discount the sieving idea as from the hisotrical sources, textiles, such as silk or linen were used especially to filter liquids, especially wine, (or curds from whey, etc)
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It was recovered from the periphery of a midden spread with late 17th / early 18th cent. pottery.
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Hypothesis : This sherd seems similar to part from a Bellarmine Jug (1650)
Look about enclosed picture
Andre
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I have a few pottery samples and want to know its geological age
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 Rashid
I would first suggest contacting archaeologists at one of your local universities.
They can probably give you a date based on typologies- chronologies that have been established for your area
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Technology. Function. Provenance
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Thank you very much Charles.
Although is not about pottery, I found a paper  about the incorporation of volcanic ash and glass in ancient Maya plaster in order to produce hydraulic reactions.
The name of paper is The use of volcanic materials for the manufacture of pozzolanic plaster in the Maya lowlands: a preliminary report of Isabel Villaseñor and Elizabeth Graham
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I invite all Art Historians, Fine Artists, Potters and Archaeologists for their help and shall appreciate any put with evidence to my question. Thanks
Below are few examples of Islamic pottery (underglaze painted pottery) for ready reference.
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I do not know !
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I am conducting a research on some ancient kiln structures and I have found small black areas that, once under the microscope (binocular and SEM) are discrete round particles. They are composed of carbon and exhibit a clear complex structure. Moreover, they are compact. Thus they shouldn’t be identified as carbon cenospheres. Because of their size and composition, they could be spores, but I haven’t been able to identify them. I would appreciate if you could make any suggestion. Thank you in advance
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Thanks a lot to all of you for your answers. I really looks like the conidia of Leandria momordicae. The fact is that the presence in this kiln walls should be explained as a fungi presence after the kiln stopped its activity. This is the kiln chamber just excavated in the soil.
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how to analyse XRF data of archaeological pottery?
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I agree with Elizabeth, though I read the question as how to analyze data, rather than how to analyze pottery with XRF.  For the latter, I would recommend you take a look at "Protocol for analysis of archaeological ceramics by pXRF" by Hunt and Speakman [http://tinyurl.com/oeuqc4c].  Regarding the former, there is a rich literature available on the analysis of compositional data for archaeometric applications.  Some good starting places are:
Baxter, M. (1994) "Exploratory Multivariate Analysis in Archaeology." Edinburgh University Press.
Baxter, M. and C.E. Buck (2000) Data handling and statistical analysis. In "Modern Analytical Methods in Art and Archaeology," E. Ciliberto and G. Spoto (eds.), pp. 681-746. John Wiley and Sons, New York.
Bishop, R.L. and H. Neff (1989) Compositional data analysis in archaeology. In
"Archaeological Chemistry IV", R.O. Allen (ed.), pp. 576–586. American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C.
Neff, H. (2002) Quantitative techniques for analyzing ceramic compositional data. In "Ceramic Production and Circulation in Greater Southwest: Source Determination by INAA and Complementary Mineralogical Investigations," D.M. Glowacki and H. Neff (eds.), pp. 15-36. Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, Los Angeles.
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archaeological objects are almost be discovered as a broken and mixed peaces in a large location so, the process of manually re-assembly is a tedious task and requires a long time especially in the case of loss of some of the pieces. what is the statistical tools that helped in solving reconstruction of fragmented (in addition of Principal component, cluster analysis, Discriminant analysis)
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There is a method that is note exclusively statistical that has been termed a "virtual nodule" approach for analyzing lithics. Look at the following references: 
Larson, Mary Lou and Marcel Kornfeld 1997 Chipped stone nodules: theory method, and examples. Lithic Technology 22:4-18.
Sellet, Frédèric 2006 The inference of mobility patterns from sone tools. In Archaeology and Ethnoarchaeology of Mobility, edited by F. Sellet, R. Greaves, and P. L. Yu, pp. 221-239. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.
Sellet, Frédèric 1999 A dynamic View of Paleoindian Assemblages at the Hell Gap site, Wyoming: Reconstructing Lithic Technology Systems. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Anthropology. Southern Methodist University, Dallas. University Microfilms, Ann Arbor.
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I come from OSL dating of geological samples, where the moisture content of the sample is very important. I've read several papers about thermoluminescence dating, but none of them is specific about the significance of moisture content when it comes to archaeology.
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Hi Monica:
There are 2 papers that are readily available that answer your question is some detail. One is Geoff Duller's 2008 paper for English Heritage. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/publications/luminescence-dating/.
The other source is Martin Aitken's 1985 Thermoluminescence Dating book. I realize it is a bit old and somewhat out of date but the chapter on dose rate (Chapter 4) answers your questions. Section 4.3 "effect of moisture" is the most relevant to your case. Essentially since water absorbs more than its fair share of radiation on a weight for weight basis, failure to allow for moisture causes the calculated ages to be too recent.  Aitken goes into much detail (perhaps too much for the non-OSL scientist) but he does answer the moisture question.
I find it practical to sometimes find what the saturation moisture of the sediment that holds the pottery is (i.e. how much water can "fit" in the pore spaces which is more for finer-grained deposits than coarser grained deposits) and use that instead of "normal field moisture".
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Is there anyone interested in studying a set of Beaker pottery from the Iberian peninsula?
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Dear Gabriel,
The main issue is your question about the samples: provenance, technology or deterioration?
If you like to study historic potteries, you should use some analytical methods such as petrography (microscopy) and elemental and phase analyses suchas XRD, XRF and etc. The method should establish based on your question. More detailed information may help to answer better.
Regards