The study of Scotland’s Neolithic pottery has a long history, extending back at least as far as the 1920s when Callander reviewed what was then known (Callander 1929). Studies of specific pottery types were to follow, with a somewhat confusing proliferation of style names (such as Jack Scott’s ‘Beacharra’ ware and ‘Rothesay Ware’ (Scott 1969), along with ‘Achnacree Bowls’ and ‘Unstan Bowls’ (Henshall 1963; 1972). More recently, Scottish Grooved Ware was considered by Ann MacSween and Trevor Cowie in 1999, and MacSween revisited the dating of Grooved Ware in 2007, when she also considered the dating of Impressed Ware. The characteristics and dating of Carinated Bowl pottery (formerly known as ‘Grimston Ware’, or ‘Grimston-Lyles Hill’ pottery, and sometimes referred to as ‘Bowl’) were outlined by Sheridan in 2007, building on previous work by Audrey Henshall, who has made a major contribution to the understanding of Scottish Neolithic pottery (e.g. Henshall 1968; 1972; 1983).
However, with the exception of Ian Kinnes’ study in 1984 (which formed part of a broader assessment of the state of knowledge about the Scottish Neolithic), there has been no attempt to describe the overall nature and development of Scottish Neolithic pottery since Isla McInnes published her ‘Scottish Neolithic pottery’ study in 1961, in Scottish Archaeological Forum. This section of the ScARF document will aim to offer a summary statement of our current state of knowledge.