Fragment of imported Ubaid pottery from Iraq, found at Al Khor
Middle and Late Neolithic Period
Object Name: Jar
Period: Middle and Late Neolithic Period
Date: 5500-4500 BCE
Provenance: Tell Al-'Ubaid, Mesopotamia
Dimensions: 10.9cm height; 18 cm rim diam.
Medium: earthenware
Registration Number: ARC.1978.13.23
Place Of Discovery/Findspot:  Wadi Al Jalta
This fragment comes from the upper part of a ceramic jar. The jar would have been shaped without a neck, with a rising lip and an inner rim for placing a lid. The outer side of the fragment is covered with a geometric pattern rendered in black/ brown paint which is characteristic of ceramics produced during the Ubaid period (c. 6500-3750 BCE).

The Ubaid period was a prehistoric period in Mesopotamia, a vast region in present-day Iraq located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The name of the Ubaid period derives from Tell Al Ubaid, where the first major excavations of the material culture took place.

This type of ceramic jar is commonly found on sites in Qatar including Al Da'asa and Ras Abrouq. Carbon-14 dating places this fragment more specifically within the period of 4800-3750 BCE. The presence of this type of pottery offers evidence of Qatar’s involvement in very early trade networks within the Arabian Gulf.
Middle and Late Neolithic Period 6500–3200 BCE

During the second part of the Neolithic period, the human population of Qatar entered a period of stability. This was due to several environmental factors leading to a diversity of food resources. Archaeologists have found remains of settlements in Al Da'asa, Al Khor, Ras Abruq, Shagra and Wadi Debayan, which indicate a certain level of social organization. Remains found at these sites include houses, fireplaces and workshops for the manufacturing of stone tools. The people lived by herding, fishing, hunting and gathering. Evidence related to fishing and fish processing includes middens (rubbish dumps) containing fish bones and shellfish remains, and numerous firepits where fish and meat might have been smoked. From the end of the 6th to the beginning of the 4th millennium BCE, the emergence of international trade with the Ubaid culture of Mesopotamia is remarkable.
The Neolithic or New Stone Age is characterised by major changes in the ways of life of prehistoric man. This included increased sedentarisation (settling in one place); the appearance of agriculture; domesticated animal husbandry; and pottery and polished stone tools. The emblematic tool from this time was the polished axe, for this reason this period is also referred to as the ‘Age of the Polished Stone’.

In a few thousand years, many human populations went from being hunters and gatherers (Palaeolithic) to producers (Neolithic), attempting to dominate and transform the natural world. This is why the literature often uses the term 'Neolithic revolution'. However, it was rather a slow and geographically disparate evolution that took place in different ways and at different speeds across the world.
INIZAN, M. L. et al., 1988, Mission archéologique française à Qatar. vol. 2. Préhistoire à Qatar, pp. 74–77; fig. 32-33.
Wadi Al Jalta