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Impressed Ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: The earliest Neolithic pottery of the Mediterranean area, with decoration impressed into the clay by sticks, combs, fingernails, or seashells, from before 6000 BC to around 4000 BC (though till later in North Africa). The pottery itself was characterized as having simple round-bottomed shapes. The serrated edge of the cardium shell was particularly popular in the western area and it is also known as Cardial Ware. Before c 5000 BC the ware is found mainly in caves or rock shelters or shell midden sites, where it is associated with hunting-gathering and breeding of sheep. Around 5000 BC, crop cultivation was introduced and large settled villages sprang up. Other types of pottery are found alongside Impressed Ware at this stage, including fine red painted ware in Italy, Stentinello Ware in Sicily, and Ghar Dalam ware in Malta, which represent specialized versions of Impressed Ware. The pottery style may have originated in Asia Minor or even Yugoslavia (Starcevo culture).

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