Pottery craft was introduced as a novelty at the beginning of the period, with the specific types funnel beakers, collared flask, clay disk, and more sporadically lugged vessels. The vessels are commonly made of fine clay tempered with rather coarse fractions of crushed granite. The tempered and processed clay has then been built to vessels by coils joined together using N and U techniques. Funnel beakers occur both as short necked and high necked vessels. The short-necked beakers are often undecorated or sparsely decorated, the high necked vessels sometimes have surface covering decoration. Short necked and high necked funnel beakers can be found in the same assemblages, but often one or the other type dominates on each site. The decorated vessels are ornamented with rows of simple impressions, cord, cord stamp, oblique impressions, toothed stamps and pit impressions. Just as was the case with vessel shapes, each site is often dominated by a certain set of decorative elements.

Some of the variation in vessel shape and decoration may be explained by chronological trends within the Early Neolithic period, but an extensive programme of 14C dating of pottery indicates that to a large extent it is a case of contemporary variation. It seems that groups of potters living on different settlements reproduced their own local micro-traditions, each characterised by specific technological choices in different steps of the operational chain, from the choice of clay and temper, through the shaping of the vessel, to the decoration of the finished funnel beakers. The thin-section analysis of pottery from the site Skogsmossen suggests that the people who lived there utilised the same clay source for several hundred years.

Funnel Beaker pottery can be viewed as a continental phenomenon with a wide distribution in northern Europe. At the same time regional traits can be observed in the ceramics from M
älardalen and Bergslagen (for example common occurrence of pit impressions, decoration on the rim-edge, decoration on the inside of the rim, twisted cord decoration already during EN I, etc.), traits that distinguish this pottery from South Scandinavian and Polish Funnel Beaker pottery. From another perspective TRB pottery can also be viewed as a local phenomenon as potters from nearby and contemporary settlements reproduced different technological styles, site specific traditions that were practised, taught and learned throughout several generations in local communities of practice.

The observation of local continuity in ceramic craft is the starting point for a further discussion of what scenarios that would allow specific technological choices to be reproduced among consequent generations of artisans at the same settlement. As the size of finger imprints in pottery in M
älardalen/Bergslagen and elsewhere indicate that the vessels often were made by women, it is suggested that girls were taught pottery craft by their mothers, but also that a matrilocal rule of post-marital residence kept the group of potters intact over time. It is further suggested that engagement in the cultural practice of this community of practice where grandmothers taught mothers who taught daughters who taught sisters, gave birth to an idea of a common identity based both on descent and on cultural practice. The common ancestry from an historical or fictitious foremother may have given rise to an idea of matrilinear descent.
The Funnel Beaker pottery of Mälardalen and Bergslagen
 TRB Pottery
 The TRB of Mälardalen
 TRB stone industries
 Theoretical considerations
 The local an the pan-regional
 Contact and links
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