The decorative art of Neolithic ceramics in south-eastern England and its relations
A detailed study has been made of the formally Neolithic pottery of south-eastern England. Fourty-two new or previously unclassified finds have been added to published lists. The text is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue recording all material known in the Spring of 1956. The results of the study may be summarized under headings referring to the three ceramic groups with which it is concerned: The Windmill Hill complex: The characteristics and interrelationships of the three major styles of decorated wares In the area are distinguished more precisely than hitherto. The Peterborough complex: A refined definition of the two styles already familiar, and the recognition of a third, has disclosed an evolutionary and chronological sequence. In the light of this, peculiarities of the later Neolithic wares of Ulster and Scotland and of developed Peterborough ware can be explained more economically in terms of culture contact between the groups concerned than by postulating foreign Influences, and the relationship between Peterborough ware and Overhanging-rim Urns can be more clearly understood. It is further suggested that Peterborough ware is not so associated with an assemblage of distinctive archaeological traits as to represent a culture of Baltic or Mesolithic origin, or even an independent culture, but in its earliest form is associated with traits regnlarly occurring in the Windmill Hill complex, as if its makers sprang from the same Western Neolithic stock. It Is the survival of this stock, after the disappearance of the Windmill Hill culture, that is attested by the Peterborou,h ware of the Late Neolithic and its Bronze Age successors. The Rinyo-Clacton complex: A third stylistic group Is added to the two now recognized In the south of England. he cultural individuality of the Rinyo-Clacton complex over against the Windmill Hill-Peterborough complexes is brought out more clearly. A genetic relationship between Rinyo- Clacton ware and biconical urns is suggested. A revised chronological framework for the Middle and Late Neolithic periods in south-eastern England is put forward.