The Emergence of Pottery in West Asia

Akira Tsuneki, Olivier Nieuwenhuyse , Stuart Campbell

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

Abstract

Over the past fifty years or so early pottery complexes in the wider region of West Asia have hardly ever been investigated in their own right. Early ceramics have often been unexpected by-products of projects focusing upon much earlier aceramic or later prehistoric periods. In recent years, however, there has been a tremendous increase in research in various parts of West Asia focusing explicitly on this theme. It has generally become accepted that the adoption of pottery in West Asia happened relatively late in the history of ceramics. Several regions are now believed to have developed pottery significantly earlier. Thus, pottery occurs in Eastern Russia, in China and Japan by 16,500 cal. BC and in north Africa it is known in the 10th millennium cal. BC.However, while the East Asian examples in particular do mark chronologically earlier instances, the picture in West Asia is actually rather more complex, in part because of the tyranny of the Aceramic/Ceramic Neolithic chronological divide. For the first time, The Emergence of Pottery in West Asia examines in detail the when, where, how and why of the arrival of the first pottery in the region. A key insight that emerges is that we must not confuse the reasons for pottery adoption with the long-term consequences. Neolithic peoples in West Asia did not adopt pottery because of the many uses and functions it would gain many centuries later and the development of ceramic technology needs to be examined in the context of its original cultural and social milieu.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxbow Books
Number of pages192
ISBN (Electronic)9781785705274
ISBN (Print)9781785705267
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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