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Modelling the diffusion of pottery technologies across Afro-Eurasia: emerging insights and future research

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 May 2016

Peter Jordan*
Arctic Centre, University of Groningen, PO Box 716, 9700 AS Groningen, the Netherlands
Kevin Gibbs
Department of Anthropology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Box 455003, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89154, USA
Peter Hommel
Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford, 36 Beaumont Street, Oxford OX1 2PG, UK
Henny Piezonka
Eurasia Department, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Im Dol 2–6, Berlin 14195, Germany
Fabio Silva
Institute of Archaeology, University College London, 31–34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY, UK
James Steele
Institute of Archaeology, University College London, 31–34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY, UK School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Jan Smuts Avenue, Braamfontein, Johannesberg 2000, South Africa
*Author for correspondence (Email:


Where did pottery first appear in the Old World? Statistical modelling of radiocarbon dates suggests that ceramic vessel technology had independent origins in two different hunter-gatherer societies. Regression models were used to estimate average rates of spread and geographic dispersal of the new technology. The models confirm independent origins in East Asia (c. 16000 cal BP) and North Africa (c. 12000 cal BP). The North African tradition may have later influenced the emergence of Near Eastern pottery, which then flowed west into Mediterranean Europe as part of a Western Neolithic, closely associated with the uptake of farming.

Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd, 2016 

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