added by archaeologs 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).
added by archaeologs Type of pottery that characterizes cultures in the central and west Mediterranean (Yugoslavia, Italy, Sicily, Malta, Sardinia, Corsica, southern France, Spain, Portugal and north Africa) fromcóOOO be to c4000 be, or later in some areas. The pottery is dark-surfaced and is decorated with impressions made in a variety of different ways: with fingers, sticks or other implements or with the edge of a cardium shell (therefore often called Cardial Ware). Shapes are generally simple and include bowls and large open-mouthed storage or cooking vessels. In the 6th millennium be Impressed Ware is found mainly in caves or rock shelters or shell midden sites, many of which had been occupied in the preceding Mesolithic period. On these sites, Impressed Ware is usually associated with a hunting and gathering economy, although there is some evidence for the early appearance of domesticated sheep. After <5000 be Impressed Ware is found with evidence of a mixed farming economy, based on domesticated animals and cultivated plants (both cereals and pulses). By this stage open settlements had become much more common and in Italy these were often surrounded by multiple ditches (the so-called villaggi trincerati). 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 represent specialized versions of
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983