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How Ancient Europeans Saw the WorldVision, Patterns, and the Shaping of the Mind in Prehistoric Times$
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Peter S. Wells

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691143385

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691143385.001.0001

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The Visual Ecology of the Everyday

(p.72) Chapter 5 Pottery
How Ancient Europeans Saw the World

Peter S. Wells

Princeton University Press

This chapter analyzes the pottery of late prehistoric Europe. Jars, bowls, and cups were the three main categories of pottery vessels that were in use in the Early Bronze Age. Bowls and cups were decorated differently from jars, and their surfaces were finished differently. Jars are the only category that had a purposely roughened surface. Bowls and cups were polished smooth. And jars are the only category within which each individual vessel was distinguished from every other by the pattern of its ornament. From the latter fact, it is argued that jars in the Early and Middle Bronze Age were individualized in a way that bowls and cups were not; each was deliberately made different from all others in order that the household that owned it could mark it as its own, and perhaps even use it to display to others in the community that it had abundant stores of grain.

Keywords:   pottery, jars, visual word, visualization, bowls, cups, late prehistoric Europe, Early Bronze Age

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