Ceramics in the Epigravettian of Croatia

1 minute read

I’ve had a paper on my desktop for more than a week expecting to write a comment on it, and now happily I discover that the first author, Becky Farbstein, has described the work in a blog post: “First Epigravettian Ceramics in Europe”. The paper Farbstein:2012 describes ceramic figurines from 12,000-15,000 years ago in Croatia – not the earliest instance of ceramic technology in the world, but one of three very early instances that suggest a pattern:

There are major implications for the rapidly accumulating body of evidence of both artistic and functional ceramics in pre-Neolithic contexts (remember this post?), but most importantly, we can no longer equate ceramic technologies with sedentary societies. The finds from Vela Spila encourage us to reconsider our ideas about the multiple inventions and diverse roles of ceramics throughout prehistory. Clearly, in lots of different places across Eurasia, throughout the late Palaeolithic, people were experimenting with ceramic materials, intentionally firing them, and developing new artistic traditions associated with their innovations. Ceramics should not necessarily be considered an anachronism (or contamination) when found in Palaeolithic horizons.

I love it when I can read about work from the authors, and hope more and more people will take up this challenge!