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Dolni Vestonice

At Dolni Vestonice, in eastern Europe, many fragments of fired-clay pottery have been found. They include broken animal statuettes and one complete Venus figurine. Dating from about 25,000 years ago, they appear to represent an isolated case - followed by a gap of some 16,000 years until pottery becomes an everyday feature of life in the neolithic period.

Evidently this one palaeolithic community discovers the interesting effect of firing clay. But without the practical need for pottery in the life of hunter-gatherers, the technology is not sufficiently interesting to be copied and developed. So it is soon forgotten, to be rediscovered when it is needed - many millennia later.

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