Advent Calendar Day 15

Prehistoric Deer on a Ceramic Bowl


Prehistoric Deer on a Ceramic Bowl


Decorated Ceramic Bowl from Los Millares, Spain, c. 3200–2300 BC

This decorated ceramic bowl was excavated from Los Millares in Spain and dates from the Iberian Copper Age which began about 3200 BC. It is decorated with deer, geometric patterns and stylised eyes which have all been incised into the surface of the bowl.

Los Millares was a large and important settlement during the Copper Age, and is one of the earliest sites in Spain where metalworking took place. The meaning of the eye motifs is unknown but they are not uncommon and must have had significance for Los Millares.

Some researchers believe that the eye symbol may be related to the sun. Another interpretation is that it may represent an owl.

The bowl is on display in our European Prehistory Gallery which focuses on the prehistoric peoples of Europe and explores what can be learned about them from their surviving material culture. Prehistory refers to the time before written records, and our knowledge about prehistoric Europe is derived from archaeology.

Decorated Ceramic Bowl, c. 3200–2300 BC

Los Millares (Grave 15), Spain


Prehistoric Ceramic Bowl


Prehistoric Deer on a Ceramic Bowl