(-3400 - -2500)
The Museum collection contains a representative selection of the three styles into which Neolithic Peterborough Ware is sub-divided: Ebbsfleet, Mortlake and Fengate. Two: Ebbsfleet and Mortlake, were originally defined on the basis of finds made in the lower Thames valley. Both are round-based forms while Fengate vessels are flat-based.
All three styles employ coil-built vessels in flint-tempered fabrics decorated with varying combinations of impressions created by twisted and whipped cord, reeds, sticks, the bones of small birds and mammals and human finger-tips and finger-nails.
It used to be thought that a chronological progression could be discerned, with the decoratively restrained Ebbsfleet the earliest and flat-based Fengate the latest. However, recent radiocarbon dating has demonstrated that all three styles were fully developed and in simultaneous use by 3000 BC.
Most of the local finds of Peterborough Ware were either deposited in the Thames or buried in small pits along its banks. As such, it is possible that they represent (or contained) offerings made to earth and water.
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