Integrative Approaches in Ceramic Petrography

Ceramic petrography, a microscopic examination of the mineral content and structure within ceramic thin sections, reveals the origin and movement of pottery and sheds light on the technology of the artifact. Practiced by archaeologists since the 1930s, ceramic petrography was less commonly practiced until recently. Integrative Approaches in Ceramic Petrography highlights new results from this field and incorporates it prominently within current archaeological work.

Thirteen papers cover a broad spectrum of regional and temporal contexts with case studies that provide practical examples combining petrography with scientific, ethnographic, and experimental methods. The varied uses of ceramic petrography and the insights it has generated, illustrate the significance of this method for understanding past societies and the volume’s conclusion provides an astute overview of the field.

Mary F. Ownby is the research petrographer at Desert Archaeology, Inc. and a research associate at the University of Arizona. Isabelle C. Druc is a researcher at the Department of Anthropology at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Maria A. Masucci is Professor of Anthropology and director of the Archaeology Minor at Drew University. 

Table of Contents:
List of Figures
List of Tables
Introduction — Mary F. Ownby, Isabelle C. Druc, and Maria A. Masucci 
1. Petrography First: Issues of Identification and Sourcing Volcanic Ash Temper in Maya Pottery Anabel Ford, Frank J. Spera, and Connie Christensen
2. The Importance of Petrography for Interpreting Compositional Data: A Case Study of Tanque Verde Red-on-Brown 
 Mary F. Ownby
3. The Organization of Ceramic Production and the Origins of Complexity in the Late Prehispanic Coastal Societies of Ecuador — Maria A. Masucci, Hector Neff, Michael D. Glascock, and Jeff Speakman
4. Petrography and pXRF at San Pedro de Atacama, Northern Chile: Exploring Ancient Ceramic Production — Emily M. Stovel, Beatriz Cremonte, and Ester Echenique
5. Technical Comparisons of Halaf and Ubaid Sherds from Tell Ziyadeh: A Pilot Study — Yukiko Tonoike
6. Petrography in the Age of Instrumental Characterization: An Example from Honey Bee Village, Pima County, Arizona — James M. Heidke
7. The Contribution of Petrography to Understanding the Production and Consumption of Early Helladic Ceramics from Nemea, Mainland Greece — Clare Burke, Peter M. Day, and Daniel J. Pullen
8. The Use of Loess in Pottery Manufacture: A Comparative Analysis of Pottery from Yinxu in North China and Linearbandkeramik Sites in Belgium 
 James B. Stoltman
9. Clay Pellets in Hohokam Red-on-Buff Pottery: Shifts in Pottery Recipes and the Organization of Ceramic Production 
 Sophia E. Kelly
10. Looking for the Right Outcrop: Ceramic Petrography in the Peruvian Andes Isabelle C. Druc, Kinya Inokuchi, Victor Carlotto, and Pedro Navarro
11. Petrography and Behavior When the Minerals Do Not Change: Textural Analysis of Disaster Impacts on Historic Hidatsa Potting Practices, North Dakota 
 Kacy L. Hollenback
12. Field-Based Experiments Replicating Ceramic Fabrics: Late Bronze Age Cookwares from Two Mediterranean Sites — Jerolyn E. Morrison and Mara T. Horowitz
13. Point/Counter Point II: The Accuracy and Feasibility of Digital Image Techniques in the Analysis of Pottery Tempers Using Sherd Edges Patrick C. Livingood and Ann S. Cordell 
14. Ceramic Petrography: Integration, Adaptation, and Innovation
 Ian K. Whitbread
List of Contributors

Praise and Reviews:

“Advances the field by providing an anthology of different methodologies and different geographical areas.”
—Leslie G. Cecil, associate professor of Anthropology, Stephen F. Austin State University

“This groundbreaking volume with 15 contributions by 28 authors demonstrates the resurgence of ceramic petrographic analysis. Diverse essays geographically span the American Southwest to northern China, and 5,000 BCE-19th century CE. The introduction and final chapter summarize the status of current research. Essential, authoritative and compelling, this anthology emphasizes methodologies and new investigations elucidating broader anthropological questions.”
—Charles C. Kolb, artifact identification consultant for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and for the National Museum of Afghanistan