Tracing the Lines: Uncovering Grooved Ware Trajectories in Neolithic Scotland

Mike with the pot created by one of our artists in residence Diane from clay sourced from Trench Y.

Dr Mike Copper.

Ness stalwart and ceramic specialist Dr Mike Copper is the co-author of a new paper looking at the adoption, development and demise of Neolithic Grooved Ware pottery in Scotland.

Tracing the Lines: Uncovering Grooved Ware Trajectories in Neolithic Scotland, by Mike Copper, Derek Hamilton and Alex Gibson, presents the results of the analysis of over 100 Grooved Ware-associated radiocarbon dates from Scotland.

Current dating strongly suggests that the flat-bottomed and geometrically decorated Grooved Ware ceramic style developed in Orkney, with the earliest reliable dates coming from the Barnhouse Neolithic settlement – where a highly “prototypical” Grooved Ware assemblage was in use from 3160–3090 BC.

The Tracing the Lines project aimed to determine when and how Grooved Ware pottery first spread beyond Orkney, when and in what ways Grooved Ware subsequently developed in Scotland, and when and how its use there finally came to an end.

Published in the latest Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, the open-access paper is available to download here.

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