Spatial Approaches to Craft Production

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC (2017)

Craft production has long been a topic of major interest in archaeology. The spatial arrangement of these activities reflect important features in the social organization of production. Yet interpreting the social meaning of these spatial patterns is challenging, and the relationship between a given spatial distribution and particular type of social organization is not always clear. Considerations of space and craft production are also beset by methodological difficulties. Some kinds of craft production leave ephemeral or difficult-to-identify residues in the archaeological record, posing challenges for identifying the specific places where production occurred. In cases where identification of production contexts detailed excavation or laboratory analysis, moving from single contexts to broad spatial patterns is not a straightforward process. The papers in this session will offer new methodological and interpretive perspectives on how archaeologists approach spatial patterns in craft production. The session aims to bring analyses of craft production at all spatial scales into conversation with one another.