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Equally characteristic of this period are the mat-painted wares, which are mainly handmade: here rectilinear patterns are applied in dull black or lilac to a porous white surface.
This style, although native to the Cyclades, was also widely imitated on the mainland; in the latest stage the ornament falls increasingly under the influence of the polychrome and curvilinear style of Middle Minoan Crete.
They provide the first instance of the use of tin glaze; although the date of its introduction cannot be certainly determined.
A well-known fragment from Nimrūd in the British Museum belongs to about 890 extremely large friezes, one of them about 11 yards (10 metres) long, were being erected at Susa.
By the time of MM II the use of the fast wheel had become general, imparting a new crispness to the profiles.
Among the commonest shapes are carinated cups (often of eggshell thinness), small, round jars with bridge-spouts, and large storage jars (pithoi).
The use of a red slip covering and molded ornament came a little later.
Handmade pottery has been found at Ur, in Mesopotamia, below the clay termed the Flood deposit.
There is comparatively little variation until the 26th dynasty () showing signs of Greek influence.Over a dark lustrous ground the ornament is added in red and white, the carefully composed designs striking a subtle balance between curvilinear abstract patterns and stylized motifs derived from plant and marine life.The decoration sometimes takes the form of appliqué molded ornament or barbotine (made of slip) knobs.In the course of MM III the fashion for polychrome schemes gradually died out, but at the very end of the period (MM III B) a new naturalistic style was born, inspired by the floral and marine frescoes on the walls of the second palaces.The wide distribution of MM pottery illustrates the vigour of Cretan commercial enterprise; several Minoan emporia were founded in the Aegean Islands, while exports also reached Cyprus, Egypt, and the Levant. Potters were much influenced by work in richer and more spectacular media: many of their shapes can be traced to originals in gold and bronze found in Cretan palaces and Mycenaean tombs.adapted to the shape of the vase.
C̦atalhüyük, on the Anatolian Plateau of Turkey, revealed a variety of crude, soft earthenware estimated to be approximately 9,000 years old.