Neolithic Grooved Ware

Display case No.1 holds some pieces of Neolithic Grooved Ware.
Lifting the corner of the duvet from these fairly insignificant looking objects reveals a plethora of questions and theories that archaeologists have spent life time’s researching.

The Neolithic is the period when mankind gradually settled down from the hunter, gatherer way of life into a more sedentary animal herding and plant cultivation existence. This must have caused a considerable degree of social upheaval and cannot have been universally popular. From a male perspective it must have been much more fun to go out hunting than to spend the day at the rear end of a cow.

Grooved Ware seems to have developed in Orkney and worked its way south. There are wide local variations in style. Sizes range from cups and bowls to large vessels thought to have been used for ceremonial feasting or even brewing. Often found in relation to ritual sites, large quantities have been found at Durrington Walls alongside Stonehenge.

In his book ‘Britain BC’ Francis Prior speculates about wood henges being for the living hardening into stone henges for the dead. Apparently (it doesn’t always work) but often the pots found at wood henges contain wood inclusions whereas the pots found in stone henges contain stone dust.