Alişar-IV ware is one of the most characteristic ceramic productions of early first-millennium BC central Anatolia and the only one characterised by painted figurative motifs besides geometric decorations. The ongoing excavations at NiğdeKınık Höyük have uncovered a collection of fragments belonging to 42 Alişar-IV vessels, and this systematic material study of these sherds contributes much to understanding aspects of their production, use and consumption. Petrographic and chemical evidence presented in this study indicates that two-thirds of them were produced locally. Conversely, the study of Alişar-IV fragments from other regions of the Anatolian plateau has shown that they are non-local productions. We thus suggest that Alişar-IV ware is a product of a few centres within south-central Anatolia and that, from there, it circulated among and beyond these centres. Radiocarbon dating indicates that the main period of production of this ware covers the tenth and ninth centuries BC, in agreement with the evidence from Polatlı Yassı Höyük, KamanKalehöyük and Böğazköy-Büyükkaya. The small number of Alişar-IV vessels found at each site is indicative of a limited, exclusive production. A combined study of their shapes and iconography might support the hypothesis that the AlişarIV ware was primarily associated with wine circulation and consumption.
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