• Era/Century: Prehistory
  • Culture: Starčevo
  • Site: Grabovac, Đurića vinogradi
  • Dating: 6th Millennium B.C.
  • Material: terracotta
  • Dimensions: height 10 cm
  • ID Number: AP 5485
  • Property: Belgrade City Museum
  • On Display: No

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The Starčevo ware was hand-made and had very simple and purely functional globular or semiglobular forms. The process of modelling in clay makes it possible to trace a kind of stylistic development in the manner the vessel is shaped and ornamented, and therefore it is even possible to speak of the art and style of the Neolithic epoch. In decorating his vessels, the potter gave free play to his imagination and used various techniques of ornamentation. Thus we find white and red painted ornaments with spiral and net-like designs, the barbotine technique (adding thick slips to the vessel for decorative effect) and impressed ornaments executed in various ways.

This bowl from Grabovac is an exceptionally good example of a vessel with impressed ornaments produced by finger and nails. The decoration is organized in such a way as to form the motif of an ear of grain, which imparts a particular beauty to the vessel. The way the vessel is shaped and decorated shows that pottery-making was not only the most important craft in the Neolithic, but also that it embodied the entire material and spiritual life of the people of that time. Therefore we must regard pottery-making as an art and seek to discover in its products elements common to all works of art.

Published in Prehistory


Miloš Spasić
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