Pottery and People

This volume emphasizes the complex interactions between ceramic containers and people in past and present contexts.

Pottery, once it appears in the archaeological record, is one of the most routinely recovered artifacts. It is made frequently, broken often, and comes in endless varieties according to economic and social requirements. Moreover, even in shreds ceramics can last almost forever, providing important clues about past human behavior.

The contributors to this volume, all leaders in ceramic research, probe the relationship between humans and ceramics. Here they offer new discoveries obtained through traditional lines of inquiry, demonstrate methodological breakthroughs, and expose innovative new areas for research. Among the topics covered in this volume are the age at which children begin learning pottery making; the origins of pottery in the Southwest U.S., Mesoamerica, and Greece; vessel production and standardization; vessel size and food consumption patterns; the relationship between pottery style and meaning; and the role pottery and other material culture plays in communication.

Pottery and People provides a cross-section of the state of the art, emphasizing the complete interactions between ceramic containers and people in past and present contexts. This is a milestone volume useful to anyone interested in the connections between pots and people.

James Skibo is associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at Illinois State University.

Gary Feinman is professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Table of Contents:

List of Figures
List of Tables

1. Pottery and People ~ James M. Skibo
2. The Chaco-Chuska Connection: In Defense of Anna Shepard ~ James B. Stoltman
3. Socialization in American Southwest Pottery Decoration ~ Patricia L. Crown
4. Standardization and Specialization: What's the Link? ~ William A. Longacre
5. Advantages and Disadvantages fo Vertical-Half Molding Technology: Implications for Production Organization ~ Dean E. Arnold
6. Rethinking our Assumptions: Economic Specialization at the Household Scale in Ancient Ejutla, Oaxaca, Mexico ~ Gary M. Feinman
7. Ceramics and Social Contexts of Food Consumption in the Northern Southwest ~ Barbara J. Mills
8. Levels of Complexity: Ceramic Variability at Vijayanagara ~ Carla M. Sinopoli
9. Finely Crafted Ceramics and Distant Lands: Classic Mixtequilla ~ Barbara L. Stark
10. Tecomates, Residential Mobility, and Early Formative Occupation in Coastal Lowland Mesoamerica ~ Philip J. Arnold III
11. Exploring the Origins of Pottery on the Colorado Plateau ~ James M. Skibo and Eric Blinman
12. "Looking Up" at Early Ceramics in Greece ~ Karen D. Vitelli
13. A Behavioral Theory of Meaning ~ Michael Brian Schiffer

References Cited