Definitions for ostraconˈɒs trəˌkɒn; -kə
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A piece of pottery or stone, usually broken off from a vase or other earthenware vessel.
An ostracon is a piece of pottery, usually broken off from a vase or other earthenware vessel. In archaeology, ostraca may contain scratched-in words or other forms of writing which may give clues as to the time when the piece was in use. In Athens, the voting public would write or scratch the name of a person in the shard of pottery. When the decision at hand was to banish or exile a certain member of society, citizen peers would cast their vote by writing the name of the person on the piece of pottery; the vote was counted and if unfavorable the person was exiled for a period of ten years from the city, thus giving rise to the term ostracism.
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