Radiocarbon dating of grass-tempered ceramic reveals the earliest pottery from Slovakia predates the arrival of farming

Peter Tóth*, Jan Petřík, Penny Bickle, Katarína Adameková, Solène Denis, Karel Slavíček, Libor Petr, Dalia Pokutta, Sven Isaksson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a novel method of bulk separation of organic content from the grass-tempered pottery from Santovka (Slovakia). The procedure is
based on the consecutive application of three inorganic acids, dissolving
clay, silica content, and low molecular or mobile fractions to separate
organic inclusions added to the pottery matrix during the formation of
vessels. Radiocarbon dates obtained with this method are coherent and
produce the shortest time span compared to other pretreatment
methods presented in this study. The paired dates of grass-tempered
pots with the radiocarbon age of lipids extracted from the same pots
point to a difference of 400–600 14C years, however, they are in line
with the site’s chronostratigraphic Bayesian model. Grass-tempered
pottery from Santovka (Slovakia) is dated to the first half of the 6th
millennium cal BC, making it the earliest pottery north of the Danube. It
seems feasible that ceramic containers from Santovka were produced by
hunter-gatherers, and pottery pre-dated the arrival of farming in the
Carpathian region by a couple of centuries
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
Early online date5 Jun 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s), 2023

Cite this