Peterborough ware

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Charles Roach Smith (1807—1890) antiquary


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A family of elaborately decorated Neolithic ceramics found in southern and eastern parts of the British Isles and dating to the period 3000 to 2000 bc. Isobel Smith divided Peterborough wares into three successive styles – Ebbsfleet, Mortlake, and Fengate – on the basis of their occurrence in the ditch fills at Windmill Hill. It is now recognized that these three groups overlap rather more than originally thought, and that they are best seen as part of the broad group of impressed wares found over much of northern Europe in the 3rd millennium bc. The decoration on Peterborough ware consists of pits, ‘maggot impressions’ made by impressing tightly rolled cord, and the impressions made by pressing the ends of bird bones into the soft clay before firing. Some of the later vessels are the first in Britain to be made with flat bases.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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