This replica of a beautiful Neolithic bowl has been crafted in our Northumberland studio to replicate the Abingdon ware pottery style; its name comes from the causewayed enclosure on the Thames gravels where sherds of this distinctive pottery have been unearthed. The excavations of this site took place over several years. The first glimmer of interest began in 1905 when two human skeletons where discovered, followed by a series of excavations that unearthed ever more about the ancient peoples who inhabited these lands.
Sadly this site is believed to have been largely destroyed by gravel excavations. Still, we are lucky to have discovered evidence of Abingdon ware, which is characterised by its bipartite forms that often have simple lugs or handles.
Dating from the middle of the Neolithic (c. 3900-3200 BCE), this pottery style clearly develops from the earlier carinated type. Like carinated bowls, it was used for cooking and storing food.
Smoke fired Terracotta
Approx. 190 mm tall 250 mm diameter
Completely hand-built, from clays similar in character to those used by the original potters, this vessel has been fired in a wood fire to emulate the original's surface colouration. It has finished with beeswax polish, a material also identified in residue analysis of the originals. When Neolithic potters have used hand tools, I create my own using stone, wood, shell, bone and antler based on original finds or information gained from marks on original artefacts.
This pot has been fired to emulate the ancient firing conditions. The original pot was fired in an open wood fire, in close contact with the fuel, a process that leaves its mark on the clay as variations in the surface colour. However, the low temperatures achieved in open firings also result in relatively weak pots, so this pot has been fired to a somewhat higher temperature to strengthen it, in a unique firing process that allows me to achieve an authentic appearance to the pot.
Health and Safety
This pot is a Museum Quality Replica made using the tools and techniques that ancient potters would have used during the Neolithic era. As this is an unglazed pot with a porous surface, it will absorb some of the flavours during the cooking process, which does add to the taste of future dishes. However, it does also mean that this pot does not meet modern Health and Safety standards, and therefore, we do not advise that it be used for cooking. When Neolithic cooks cooked in these pots, they relied on applying sufficient heat to the pot and contents to ensure that heat killed all bacteria. Heating to over 70°C for at least 10 minutes would have killed most disease-causing bacteria, and temperatures of 100°C would do even more.
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