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Ovens have been used since prehistoric times by cultures who lived in the Indus Valley and pre-dynastic Egypt. Settlements across the Indus Valley had an oven within each mud-brick house by 3200 BC. The obvious explanation for the popular use of the oven in the homes would most likely involve its use for cooking food.

Culinary historians credit the Greeks for developing bread baking into an art. Front-loaded bread ovens were developed in ancient Greece. The Greeks created a wide variety of dough, loaf shapes, and styles of serving bread with other foods.

Baking developed as a trade and profession as bread increasingly was prepared outside of the family home by specially trained workers to be sold to the public. This is one of the oldest forms of professional food processing.

Oven depicted in a painting by
Jean-François Millet

The ceramic oven is an oven constructed of clay or any other ceramic material and takes different forms depending on the culture. The Indians refer to it as a tandoor, and use it for cooking. They can be dated back as far as 3,000 BC, they have been argued to have their origins in the Indus Valley. Brick ovens are also another ceramic type oven. A culture most notable for the use of brick ovens is Italy and its intimate history with pizza. However, its history also dates further back to Roman times, wherein the brick oven was used not only for commercial use but household use as well.

Indian Tandoor Oven

These great ovens were built in the 17th century, where they were they became the "modern" kitchen appliance addition to a 12th-14th century castle.

Villagers used a common oven in town for the cooking of meats and baking bread.