The Visual Ecology of the Everyday
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.
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