The population of Britain has seen many changes throughout human history, with various groups of peoples occupying areas of land then being replaced or becoming assimilated into a new wave of inhabitants, eager to take advantage of all the riches that the British Isles had to offer.
Around 6000 years ago we see peoples begin to settle down in communities and farm the land for the first time in British history. With the settling of these Neolithic communities comes the introduction of beautifully handcrafted ceramic vessels for cooking and storing precious crops and food supplies.
One such region that has offered up precious evidence of these early inhabitants is Hanging Grimston, North Yorkshire, where some of the first pots known in Britain have been found. This style of pottery has been named Grimston ware after this invaluable archaeological site, not to be confused with the Medieval style of Grimston Ware (clearly throughout the centuries this was a favourable site for human habitation).
Grimston wares, alongside Windmill Hilll ware and Carinated bowls, make their appearance around 4000-3500 BC, and set the trend for the development of other round bottomed Neolithic forms; Mortlake bowls, Unstan ware and Abingdon ware to name but a few.
These early pottery forms are distinctive for their sparing decoration and curved bottoms that lend them a simple elegance. So popular was this simplicity of design, that this style of pottery was one of the longest-lived styles to exist within Britain. They also allow the pots to sit comfortably in the embers of an open fire, or upon any rough surface, making them a perfect marriage of form and function.
This replica Carinated Bowl is based on pottery of the Grimston style and is sometimes described as being a Hanging Grimston Bowl. The original was excavated in North Yorkshire.
Smoke fired Terracotta
Approx. 175 mm tall 295 mm diameter
As with all my Museum Quality Replicas this pot has been made, as the original would have been, entirely by hand from natural clay and using replicas of the types of tool that the Neolithic makers would have used. In keeping with the original pot, the decoration has been applied using a bone.
It has been fired to emulate the ancient firing conditions. The original pot would have been 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 very low temperatures achieved in open firings, also results in pots that are relatively weak, so this pot has been fired to a somewhat higher temperature to strengthen it, in a special firing process that allows me to achieve an authentic appearance to the pot. As each pot varies you many not receive the exact bowl in the image, but you can be sure that due to the variations caused by the firing process your pot will be a one of a kind.
Health and Safety
This is a Museum Quality Replica made using the tools and techniques that would have been 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 flavour 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 is used for cooking with. When Neolithic cooks cooked in these pots they would rely on applying sufficient heat to the pot and contents to ensure that all bacteria was killed. 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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