La Almagra pottery

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La Almagra (red ochre), also known as ″La Almagra Pottery culture″ is a red pottery found in a number of archaeological sites of the Neolithic period in Spain.[1] It is not known how it relates to other pottery of the Neolithic period.

In the sixth millennium BC Andalusia experiences the arrival of the first agriculturalists. Their origin is uncertain, and though North Africa is a serious candidate, desertification of extensive regions in the few centuries before makes almost impossible archaeological work to retrieve related cultures that for now remain unknown and lost maybe to the sands or coasts; but they arrive with already developed crops (domesticated forms of cereals and legumes). The presence of domestic animals is uncertain, but the known later as domestic species of pig and rabbit remains have been found in large quantities, and though these could belong to wild animals their unique consumption seems to indicate some preference or made up availability to these. They also consumed large amounts of olives but it's uncertain too whether this tree was cultivated or merely harvested in its wild form. Their typical artifact is the La Almagra style pottery, quite variegated.

The Andalusian Neolithic also influenced other areas, notably Southern Portugal a few centuries after, where, soon after neolithization, the first dolmen tombs begin to be built c.4800 BC, being possibly the oldest of their kind anywhere.

Ca. 4700 BC Cardium Pottery Neolithic culture (also known as Mediterranean Neolithic) arrives to Eastern Iberia.

Some ignored these early Neolithic radiocarbon dates noted above looking for a similar archaeological context to the earliest occurrences. They speculated that the origin ranged from Near East, Anatolian and northern Syrian. In this view, the first indication comes from the early Ugaritic, dating from between 2400 and 2300 BC. From these localities it probably migrated to Cyprus. An alternative explanation connected it to the colouration and fabrication technique of the ‘‘Diana style’’ of Lipari (final phase of the Neolithic of Lipari), although the shapes are very different.[2] However, the sixth millennium BC radiocarbon dates confirmed for the archaeological context of the earliest occurrences of this pottery make such speculations untenable since these examples of La Almagra pottery occurred at least 3,000 years before their alleged prototypes in the east Mediterranean.[1]


  1. ^ a b Chapman, Robert (1990). Emerging Complexity: The Later Prehistory of South-East Spain, Iberia, and the west Mediterranean. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37–39. ISBN 0 521 23207 4. La Almagra neolithic.
  2. ^ Capel, J.; et al. (2006). "Red ochre decorations in Spanish Neolithic ceramics: amineralogical and technological study" (PDF). Journal of Archaeological Science. 33 (8): 1157–1166. CiteSeerX doi:10.1016/j.jas.2005.12.004. Retrieved October 11, 2011.