book cover

H 290 x W 205 mm

150 pages

Illustrated throughout in colour and black & white (44 colour plates)

Published Dec 2017

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781784917364

Digital: 9781784917371

Recommend to a librarian

Ceramics; Pottery; Anthropology; Archaeological theory; Maya; Mayan; Americas; Archaeological theory

Innovative Approaches and Explorations in Ceramic Studies

Edited by Sandra L. López Varela

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This book celebrates thirty years of Ceramic Ecology, an international symposium initiated at the 1986 American Anthropological Association. Contributions explore the application of instrumental techniques and experimental studies to analyze ceramics and follow innovative approaches to evaluate methods and theories.



Chapter 1: Innovative Approaches and Explorations in Ceramic Studies – Sandra L. López Varela and Philip J. Arnold III; Chapter 2: What is a Ceramic Assemblage: Chronology and Belongings of the Late Classic Maya – Sherman Horn III and Anabel Ford; Chapter 3: Investigating Maya Ceramic Figurines: challenges to the use of non-invasive portable technologies in archived collections – Sandra L. López Varela; Chapter 4: Documenting Accommodation and Change in the Tarascan Ceramic Economy – Amy J. Hirshman; Chapter 5: Forming Pots and Community: Pottery Production and Potter Interaction in an Ancestral Wendat Village – Sarah Striker, Linda Howie and Ronald Williamson; Chapter 6: Clay Choice: the Impacts of Ceramic Formation Methods and Cultural Behavior – Mary F. Ownby; Chapter 7: Complementary Approaches for Understanding Mazapan Pottery – Destiny L. Crider; Chapter 8: Sherds of Spartans Past: Ceramics from the Michigan State University Campus Archaeology Program – Lynne Goldstein, Lisa Bright and Jeffrey Painter; Chapter 9: The Ethnoarchaeology of an Abandoned Potter’s Workshop in Ticul, Yucatán, México – Dean E. Arnold; Chapter 10: Making Traditional Pottery Sustainable Today: Three Case Studies in Akita Prefecture, Japan – Cara L. Reedy and Chandra L. Reedy

About the Author

Sandra L. Lopez Varela (PhD, University of London, 1996; RPA, since 2005) is a professor at the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Motivated by her studies of Maya pottery in the Usumacinta region, she extended her analytical approach to the study of Maya formative ceramics in northern Belize. Her current research studies concentrate on the effects of social development policies and institutional economics to combat poverty on nonindustrial technologies, an interest that developed from her ethnoarchaeological studies of griddle making at Cuentepec, in the State of Morelos. The transdisciplinary and international approach to her research has brought together scientists from apparently unrelated fields to archaeology and to contribute to modern social inquiry, a dialogue that awarded her the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Prize from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 2012, with the project ‘Sustaining Heritage in the Future Cities of Development: archaeological analysis of institutional solutions to poverty’. Deriving from this innovative project she is developing a mobile application, ‘Alternative Mexico’, financed by UNAM, to empower and promote local communities’ definition of cultural heritage in Mexico’s City metropolitan area. Her international recognition to advance our knowledge of the past was recognized with her election to hold the Archaeology Seat of the American Anthropological Association (2011–2014). She has served as President of the Society for Archaeological Sciences (2009–2011) and as Treasurer of the Sociedad Mexicana de Antropología (2015-2017). In 2009, she joined the Mexican Academy of Sciences, Arts, Technology, and Humanities.