Dating prehistoric pottery

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Emma is now drawing the pottery fragments and Steve is writing the report on the pottery.They are working through all the pottery from the site in chronological order so, of course, it is the prehistoric pottery first.The site produced evidence of centuries of continuous human activity on the site, on the highest land on the ‘isle’ of Brightlingsea.

(In Britain, the Neolithic = 4,000 BC to 2,500 BC; the Bronze Age = 2,500 BC to 800 BC; and the Iron Age = 800 BC to AD 43 – the Romans invaded this part of Britain in AD 43.) The site also produced fragments of possible Late Bronze Age and Middle Iron Age date, but Steve is still working on the dating of some of the prehistoric pottery.Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) technique will be applied in a case of sherds without organic adhesions.It should help to date some ceramic types characteristic for sandy sites with poor or without organic preservation.The ceramics were clearly made with care and attention by real craftspeople who knew what they were doing.One of the better-preserved items, which seems to be the torso and foreleg of a horse or deer, shows that the creator deliberately minimised the number of joins in the model, perhaps to give it structural strength.

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