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Stone Age Greek Pottery

Rainbow ware
Rainbow Ware, ca. 6500 BC

Around the time that people in Greece settled down in houses and villages, and began planting their own crops and herding animals, they also began to produce pottery. This Neolithic period was around 6000 BC. The first pottery was plain, but very soon people began to decorate it. We call the earliest kind of decorated pottery in Greece Rainbow Ware, because of the way the colors blend into each other, though it is really only black and red.

sesklo ware
Sesklo Ware

In the Middle Neolithic, people began producing another kind of pottery with red and white decoration in geometric patterns, which is known as Sesklo ware. Sesklo ware got to be very well known around Greece, so much that other towns began to make cheap knockoffs of it for people who couldn't afford the real thing.

dimini ware
Dimini Ware
cup with crosshatching
Late Neolithic cup from southern Greece

Then in the Late Neolithic, in southern Greece, people painted black patterns on a cream background. But the newcomers, the Dimini people, made a new kind of pottery, black and cream-colored, often in spirals. (They may have been influenced by West Asian styles.)

Learn by doing: make a pot out of clay
More about Early Bronze Age Greek pottery

Bibliography and further reading about Greek Stone Age pottery:

archaeology of GreeceGreek art

The Archaeology of Greece: An Introduction, by William R. Biers (1996)

Greek Art and Archaeology (3rd Edition), by John G. Pedley (2002).

The Early Neolithic in Greece : The First Farming Communities in Europe, by Catherine Perlès, Norman Yoffee (Editor) (2001). This is a book for specialists.

More about Early Bronze Age Greek pottery
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Professor Carr

Karen Eva Carr, PhD.
Assoc. Professor Emerita, History
Portland State University

Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.

Professor Carr's PSU page

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