THE vase-painting of the Iberians is in the nature of a propaedeutic to the study of Iberian art as a whole, since it provides many clues for the unravelling of problems connected with the chronology and development of that art and raises many questions bearing on the effect of the civilization of the Greeks on that of the Iberians.
Iberian pottery, of various dates from the sixth to the second century B.C., is found plentifully in the three Iberian regions. It presents certain common characteristics: the pots are wheel-made and painted and generally employ simple shapes; the basic decorative elements are lineal, floral, or vegetal, painted in dark red or maroon on a lighter red or buff background; the human figure was employed only in the most developed stages, when designs borrowed from the animal world were also used. In taking the three Iberian regions one by one, however, we find pottery in the south-east region more developed than in Andalusia, and in certain parts of Valencia and in lower Aragon more developed than in the south-east. While Andalusian pottery never advanced beyond the use of geometric patterns, in parts of the south-east region, though 'geometric' pottery was the general rule there as well, a more advanced style was developed which employed a repertoire of complicated vegetal, animal, and bird designs; while Azaila in lower Aragon saw the emergence of a still more brilliant ware