Technology and origin of grass-tempered ceramics preceding the Neolithic period in the northern Pannonian Basin (Slovakia)

Investor logo


This publication doesn't include Faculty of Arts. It includes Faculty of Science. Official publication website can be found on


Year of publication 2022
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description There is a consensus that the origin of neolithic pottery technology in Central Europe is connected with the onset of the Neolithic way of life and the emergence of the LBK in the mid-6th millennium BC. It is supposed that pottery technology came from the Northern Balkans; however, it has also been found that independent pottery traditions spread concurrently in Eastern Europe. This indicates that two technological traditions could, hypothetically, have met in Central- Eastern Europe. Ceramics found at the Santovka site could help to fill gaps in our knowledge about the arrival of ceramic technology in the area. Pottery from the site has been dated to approximately 5600–5800 cal BC, which predates the oldest known LBK pottery. Combining several analytical techniques, namely ceramic petrography, SEM and microCT, with experiments allowed us to determine where the pottery came from and how it was made. The results indicate a non-local provenance of the pottery, which was produced from clay deposited in the floodplain of one of the rivers in the region at least about ten kilometres away, as is indicated by the presence of rounded andesite inclusions derived from material originating in the Slovak Central Mountains. The shapes of the pottery fragments indicate a box-like appearance, at least in one case, and an absence of coiling. The moststriking aspect of Santovka ceramics is its high content of Festuca grass temper. The preservation of grass is associated with reduced and possibly intensive but short firing at a low temperature. The pottery style and technology, especially the organic temper, is different to what we know from the contemporary Starčevo and Körös/Criş traditions and also different to that seen in subsequent LBK ceramics.
Related projects:

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.