A polish given to the surface of artefacts. On bronze it was done to improve the appearance; mirrors could be produced in this way. On pottery, where it had to be carried out after drying out but before baking, the main purpose was probably to compact the clay, making the vessel more watertight. The decorative effect was probably also important. In pattern burnish, for example, the surface is left matt as a background to a design of polished lines. In stroke burnish, the surface is completely polished, but the marks of the burnisher, a pebble or bone clip, remain distinct.