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H 290 x W 205 mm

182 pages

Illustrated throughout in black & white

Published Aug 2017

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781784916732

Digital: 9781784916749

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Mesoamerica; ethnoarchaeology; pottery; ceramics; tradition; Mexico

Tarascan Pottery Production in Michoacán, Mexico

An Ethnoarchaeological Perspective

By Eduardo Williams

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This book examines a contemporary pottery tradition in Mesoamerica, but also looks back to the earliest examples of cultural development in this area. By means of ethnographic analogy and ceramic ecology, this study seeks to shed light on a modern indigenous community and on the theory, method and practice of ethnoarchaeology.



Preface; Chapter I Introduction; Chapter II Ethnoarchaeology: Archaeology as Anthropology; Chapter III Ceramic Ethnoarchaeology and Ceramic Ecology in Western Mexico; Chapter IV Tarascan Pottery as a Strategic Rescource in the Protohistoric Period (ca. AD 1450-1530); Chapter V Summary and General Conclusions

About the Author

Eduardo Williams received his Ph.D. in archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology at University College London (1989). He is the author of the following recent books: Water Folk: Reconstructing an Ancient Aquatic Lifeway in Michoacán, Western Mexico (2014) and The Salt of the Earth: Ethnoarchaeology of Salt Production in Michoacán, Western Mexico (2015), and co-editor of Cultural Dynamics and Production Activities in Ancient Western Mexico (2016). Dr. Williams is a member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Alfonso Caso Award (from the Mexican Council for Culture and Arts, and the National Institute of Anthropology and History) for outstanding archaeological research (2003).


The author’s… argument situates the ethnoarchaeological method/theory as the… outcome of a deep anthropological archaeology tradition. Furthermore, the utility of ethnoarchaeology to theory building and bridging arguments in archaeology as well as sociocultural anthropology [is] highlighted amiably. The greater value of the [book]… is the concise reporting of the fieldwork illustrating the patterned physical manifestations of routine potting in and about households valuable to archaeologists reconstructing ancient pathways… — Kirk D. Straight, Ethnoarchaeology, 2020
Williams deftly weaves… a compelling argument for incorporating modern ethnographic observance as suggested bridging methods for understanding… intangible cultural components in the archaeological record to serve as points of departure for reconstructing ancient craft creation processes… — Lorraine A. Williams-Beck, Latin American Antiquity, 30(4), 2019