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South Barrule pottery

Date made: Neolithic: 4000-2000 BC

Description: These sherds of pottery are from a vessel that was made over four thousand years ago. It was discovered after forestry ploughing on the lower slopes of South Barrule and is evidence for one of the earliest traditional crafts on the Isle of Man.

Pottery in the Neolithic period was of two different types. One type, known as Meayll Hill pottery after where it was first discovered, is quite smooth on the outside. The other, Ronaldsway pottery (the type shown here), is more rough and ready. Both types of pottery were made on the Isle of Man, from local clay.

The clay was prepared by cleaning and mixing, and material such as crushed rock was added to reduce shrinkage during drying and firing. Most prehistoric pots were built up from coils or wedges which were smoothed together as the pot grew. The rim would be completed last and any decorative finishes applied. The finished pots were then fired, probably in a simple bonfire kiln. Some pots were used for cooking and storage, others were used as grave goods.

Materials: Pottery

Date found: 1985

Object name: pottery

Collection: Archaeology Collection

ID number: 1985-0276


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