Cross-Cultural Petrographic Studies of Ceramic Traditions

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 84th Annual Meeting, Albuquerque, NM (2019)

This collection contains the abstracts of the papers presented in the session entitled "Cross-Cultural Petrographic Studies of Ceramic Traditions," at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Over the past decade, ceramic petrography has seen a resurgence in the field of archaeology. It has clear value for documenting past technologies, identities, movement of people, political systems, economic factors, and cultural traditions. Results from such studies have illustrated that ceramics play a key role in many aspects of past societies. This session focuses on how ceramic petrography characterizes the production of pottery as a process embedded in specific cultural spheres. The papers in this session highlight cross-cultural factors of ceramic manufacture related to ecological issues, economic demands, and societal pressures. However, the unique characteristics of pottery production within each study area also emphasize those aspects of pottery production that are most amenable to cultural norms and expectations. Ceramic petrography provides important insight into the technological choices that are principally impacted by ceramic traditions and how those traditions change over time. Through the case studies presented, and the different perspectives and interpretations ceramic analysis can bring, it will be shown that a cross-regional perspective will serve to enrich our understanding of the socio-economic and socio-cultural factors involved in ceramic production.