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Peterborough ware is a decorated pottery style of the early to middle Neolithic. It is known for the impressed pits made by bone or wood implements in its sides. Whipped cord was also used to make circular 'maggot' patterns.
The earliest form of Peterborough ware is known as Ebbsfleet style and had minimal decoration, although this later became more complex. Peterborough ware may have evolved from the earlier Grimston-Lyles Hill ware, around 3500 BC. Later varieties are known as Mortlake and Fengate sub-styles although the sequential chronological scheme of evolution from Ebbsfleet, through Mortlake to Fengate established by Smith (1956), has been called into question by a reading of associated radiocarbon data (Kinnes and Gibson 1997). While this reading suggests all three subgroups were actually more or less contemporary, current research at the University of Sheffield suggests this may still be a contentious issue.
Archaeologists have described the makers of Peterborough ware as the Peterborough culture, but the term has fallen out of favour as further discoveries have cast doubt on the idea that a single unified society produced these artefacts.
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