Meanwhile, in the Cyclades (southern Greek islands) new forms of pottery included Sesklo ware, which incorporated geometric decoration with incised spirals and maritime motifs.
From around 3,000 BCE, Aegean art in the Peloponnese and eastern Mediterranean took over from Thessaly as the leading centre of pottery, as shapes and styles began to be strongly influenced by the parallel art of metalworking.
But the finest ceramics were produced in Crete during the flowering of the Minoan Protopalatial period (2000-1800 BCE), when the great palaces of Knossos and Phaistos were built.
An example is Kamares ware, a style from Phaistos, which was made on a wheel and decorated with red and white floral and geometric designs on a black background. Protogeometrical vases are one of the earliest types of Greek visual art to survive, since the sculpture, architecture and mural paintings of this period have disappeared. During this time, the more secure setting of Athens caused it to become the new Greek centre for ceramic ideas and development, which consisted mostly of recycled Mycenean pottery, known as Submycenean ware, followed by a more orderly style known as protogeometric, characterized by designs using precise concentric circles.It appeared in Sumer at the same time, but Sumerian society advanced more quickly than that of Aegean countries: as a result, Mesopotamian art became the leading producer of fine pottery. At the same time, the patterns became more complex and extended to all areas of the vessel.These early forms were all handmade and undecorated although Greek potters gradually introduced various decorative effects using black and red pigments to create what is sometimes called Rainbow ware. Then human figures were included in the ornamentation, with images of chariot processions, battles, funerals and other scenes.