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9 Ceramics on the Side: Pottery Making as an Augmentation of Household Economy in the Valley of Puebla during the Formative Period

9 Ceramics on the Side: Pottery Making as an Augmentation of Household Economy in the Valley of... Economic specialization is considered to be a fundamental component of cultural evolution throughout much of the world. However, conceptually, developmentally, and in terms of measurement, craft specialization remains controversial ( Arnold and Nieves 1992 ; see Arnold 1999 ; Longacre 1999 ; Michaels 1989 ; Schortman and Urban 2004 ; Spielmann 2002 ). Traditionally, the degree of specialization exhibited by a household has been considered as lying along a continuum from no specialization, through part‐time specialization, to full‐time specialization, based on the extent to which the household is dependent on craft activity for subsistence. Thus, specialization has implicitly connoted reliance by a household on other households. Theoretical problems with this relationship have recently been outlined by Costin (2007) , and recent data from the Valley of Puebla casts doubt on the utility of the traditional view of craft specialization. I argue that Formative Period households there were engaged in pottery production for exchange when such households had no apparent need for subsistence assistance from other households. Ceramics are associated with the beginning of the Formative Period (beginning as early as 2000 BC) in the central highlands of Mexico, the most salient feature of which initially was the spread http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association Wiley

9 Ceramics on the Side: Pottery Making as an Augmentation of Household Economy in the Valley of Puebla during the Formative Period

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References (33)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2009 by the American Anthropological Association
ISSN
1551-823X
eISSN
1551-8248
DOI
10.1111/j.1551-8248.2009.01017.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Economic specialization is considered to be a fundamental component of cultural evolution throughout much of the world. However, conceptually, developmentally, and in terms of measurement, craft specialization remains controversial ( Arnold and Nieves 1992 ; see Arnold 1999 ; Longacre 1999 ; Michaels 1989 ; Schortman and Urban 2004 ; Spielmann 2002 ). Traditionally, the degree of specialization exhibited by a household has been considered as lying along a continuum from no specialization, through part‐time specialization, to full‐time specialization, based on the extent to which the household is dependent on craft activity for subsistence. Thus, specialization has implicitly connoted reliance by a household on other households. Theoretical problems with this relationship have recently been outlined by Costin (2007) , and recent data from the Valley of Puebla casts doubt on the utility of the traditional view of craft specialization. I argue that Formative Period households there were engaged in pottery production for exchange when such households had no apparent need for subsistence assistance from other households. Ceramics are associated with the beginning of the Formative Period (beginning as early as 2000 BC) in the central highlands of Mexico, the most salient feature of which initially was the spread

Journal

Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological AssociationWiley

Published: Mar 1, 2009

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