The local ceramic forms we found during excavations at Ambohidahy in 2014 and 2018 are consistent with Antanambe phase material identified by Henry T. Wright and colleagues. They consist of low-fired bowls and jars, many fired in a reducing atmosphere with burnished graphite surfaces and small triangular impressions, often filled with a white kaolin-like clay to offset the design against the dark burnished background.

Bowls were impressed with small, closely packed, wide-based triangle impressions within incised lines. Some bowls were made with a carination, as these examples shown here on the right hand siade. Small ovate or circular punctate impressions are also found on some vessels.


Characteristic of Antanambe assemblages are these ledge-lipped and graphited open vessels or bowls (also found in earlier Fiekena phase assemblages). They often have alternating sets of triangular impressions within incised lines on the ledge, creating a zig-zig pattern around the rim. This example is unusual in also having bands of impressions around the exterior of the body.

Restricted mouth vessels, or jars were often made with a low rim and encircled with a band of triangles, sometimes within parallel incisions. We only found the top of this small example on the right, but distinctive thickening in the clay body suggests that it originally had narrow tripod legs attached.

Jar forms are more often found with a red-orange fabric, probably because they were fired in an oxidizing atmosphere, as the examples below. Although jars are often found without evidence of burnished graphite on their surfaces, they usually have a band of simple decoration on the shoulder, just below the neck.

We also found some fragments of imported pottery at Ambohidahy

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