Urbanization and Ceramic Change: An Exploration of the Relationship

Author(s): Anne Underhill

Year: 2015


Previous studies about the production, distribution, and consumption of craft goods in complex societies emphasize social relations at the household, site, and regional scales. An often neglected component is the nature of economic organization within different neighborhoods of large settlements. This paper argues that we should attempt to understand neighborhoods as meaningful communities for inhabitants of urban centers. These smaller communities can have a major impact on the nature of social demand for different kinds of craft goods, methods of circulating items, and the organization of labor to produce goods.

This presentation describes an assessment of social demand for especially valued ceramics and patterns of access to these goods in different neighborhoods of the late prehistoric regional center of Liangchengzhen in southeastern Shandong province, China. It then describes an analysis of the degree of standardization for different kinds of ceramic vessels. It is argued that investigations about the strategies of potters in urban centers to product different kinds of vessels should consider the nature in which such centers are organized and grow over time.

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Cite this Record

Urbanization and Ceramic Change: An Exploration of the Relationship. Anne Underhill. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395357)


Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;