|In Syria and Iran pottery production dates
back to at least 7000 B.C. In the U.A.E. pottery occurs on some
of the earliest sites in the area, dating to c. 5000 B.C. The
first pottery found in the Emirates was imported. It came from
southern Iraq and belongs to a style known as Ubaid. Ubaid
pottery was made of a greenish-buff fabric (the native alluvial
clay of southern Iraq) painted with a thick black pigment. Yet
exposure to Ubaid pottery, or to another imported type
from Iraq comparable to that known at Jamdat Nasr around 3000
B.C., seems not to have kicked off local production of ceramics
in the region. That didnt happen until several centuries
later when an orange pottery, decorated in black, began to be
manufactured which remained in use for some 700 years. Throughout
all subsequent periods in the history of the U.A.E. pottery
was made locally, the shapes, wares and decoration of which
varied through time. At the same time, ceramics were imported
from a variety of places, including Mesopotamia, Iran, Central
Asia, Baluchistan and the Indus Valley. During the Islamic era
locally-produced pottery was used alongside imports from China,
Southeast Asia, Iraq and Iran.
Stone vessels, as well, particularly good for holding fatty
or oily substances, began to be made in the area by about 2500
B.C. Most of these were manufactured from steatite or chlorite,
a soft mineral found in certain parts of the Hajar mountains.
During the late 3rd, 2nd and 1st millennium B.C. the U.A.E.
had an extensive stone bowl-manufacturing industry which produced
vessels in immediately recognisable shapes with very particular
decorative patterns. Examples of such locally-made stone vessels
have been found at sites in Iraq, Iran, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia,
Baluchistan and the Indus Valley.