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8 Residential Pottery Production in Mesoamerica

8 Residential Pottery Production in Mesoamerica Of all of the crafts pursued in ancient Mesoamerica, making pottery would seem to have been the most ubiquitous. Pottery sherds are the most common artifacts at most Mesoamerican sites by one or two orders of magnitude, literally reaching into the millions for large sites. That ubiquity is partly a consequence of the durability of ceramics in the archaeological record and their susceptibility to breakage, which required regular replenishment of ceramic inventories. It is also reflective of the wide range of utilitarian and symbolically charged functions served by ceramic vessels, which included storing liquids and dry goods, preparing and serving food and drink, and use as censers and braziers in ritual ceremonies. Despite the volume of pottery that was used and discarded by consumers, understanding the organization of pottery production is not a simple matter. As compared to the manufacture of flaked stone tools, for example, the residues of pottery manufacture are relatively scarce and often ambiguous ( Rice 1987 :177–180; Stark 1985 : 164–177). Pottery‐making implements were often general purpose items, made of perishable materials, and commonly recycled from other uses. Whereas the reductive technology of flaking stone produces residues from each stage of production, building pots http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association Wiley

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References (38)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2009 by the American Anthropological Association
ISSN
1551-823X
eISSN
1551-8248
DOI
10.1111/j.1551-8248.2009.01016.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Of all of the crafts pursued in ancient Mesoamerica, making pottery would seem to have been the most ubiquitous. Pottery sherds are the most common artifacts at most Mesoamerican sites by one or two orders of magnitude, literally reaching into the millions for large sites. That ubiquity is partly a consequence of the durability of ceramics in the archaeological record and their susceptibility to breakage, which required regular replenishment of ceramic inventories. It is also reflective of the wide range of utilitarian and symbolically charged functions served by ceramic vessels, which included storing liquids and dry goods, preparing and serving food and drink, and use as censers and braziers in ritual ceremonies. Despite the volume of pottery that was used and discarded by consumers, understanding the organization of pottery production is not a simple matter. As compared to the manufacture of flaked stone tools, for example, the residues of pottery manufacture are relatively scarce and often ambiguous ( Rice 1987 :177–180; Stark 1985 : 164–177). Pottery‐making implements were often general purpose items, made of perishable materials, and commonly recycled from other uses. Whereas the reductive technology of flaking stone produces residues from each stage of production, building pots

Journal

Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological AssociationWiley

Published: Mar 1, 2009

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