Early Pottery in Northern Africa – An Overview

In: Journal of African Archaeology
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  • 1 Universität zu Köln, Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte, Forschungsstelle Afrika

The emergence of pottery is a compelling issue for archaeologists. In Africa, pottery appeared in what is now the southern part of the Sahara and the Sahel at different localities and in different contexts in the 10th millennium bp. This paper aims to give an overview of the available data concerning early pottery in Northern Africa. The radiocarbon evidence is considered as well as technological features of the pottery, the decoration and the site context. The areas of the earliest appearance of pottery in Northern Africa were uninhabited during the hyperarid phase at the end of the Pleistocene. Intriguing questions are therefore the origin of the Early Holocene occupants and of their knowledge of potting and of course the role of early pottery in the prehistoric groups.

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