Potsherds from archaeological sites are usually found barren of palynomorphs. Recently half burnt potsherds from an excavation site dated to 3320 ± 400 years BP to 2080 ± 80 years BP in Gangetic West Bengal, India yielded some palynotaxa. That palynomorphs can remain preserved in half burnt potsherds was experimentally proved with pots made from mud mixed with known pollen grains and burning for variable duration. Pots burnt for shorter duration showed recovery, while prolonged firing showed poor/no recovery. Present study suggests the use of pollen grains from under-fired ancient potsherds as a reliable tool in deciphering vegetation, climate, agriculture and related parameters of archaeological research. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.