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History of Pottery

Incipient pottery (10,000-8,000 BC), Tokyo National Museum, .
Incipient Jomon pottery (10,000-8,000 BC), Tokyo National Museum, Japan.

Palaeolithic Pottery

Pottery found in the Japanese islands has been dated, by uncalibrated radiocarbon dating, to around the 11th millennium BC, in the Japanese Palaeolithic at the beginning of the Jomon period. This is the oldest known pottery. In Europe, burnt clay was already known in the late Palaeolithic (Magdalenian) and was used for female figurines, like the "Venus" of Dolni Vestonice, as well as figures of animals.

Neolithic pottery

In Palestine, Syria and south-eastern Turkey, the earliest finds of clay pots date from Neolithic times, around the 8th millennium BC (black burnished ware). Before that, clay had been used to make statuettes of humans and animals that were sometimes burned as well. In the preceding Pre-Pottery Neolithic, vessels made of stone, gypsum and burnt lime (vaiselles blanches or white ware) had been used. Sometimes a mixture of clay and lime was used, not very successfully, in the earliest pottery.


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