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date: 19 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Although the use of unfired clay and even the production of non-utilitarian ceramic artefacts by Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers has long been accepted, their role in the emergence and spread of ceramic vessel technology has, until recently, received little scholarly attention. Pottery was seen as a technology of sedentary agriculturalists, for which mobile hunters and gatherers would have had little use. This article reviews some of the archaeological evidence that has been used to support a reassessment of this traditional paradigm, showing that the agricultural connection can often be broken decisively and that themes of practicality and prestige, which characterize traditional discussions of the emergence of pottery, can be equally successful in exploring its origins as a hunter-gatherer technology.

Keywords: hunter-gatherer, pottery, ceramic vessel technology, origins

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