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From Clay Survey to Ceramic Provenance: Establishing a Ceramic Geography for the Late Classic Valley of Oaxaca

Author(s): Leah Minc

Year: 2015

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As an overall introduction to this session, this paper introduces our methodology for establishing ceramic provenance within the geologically complex Valley of Oaxaca. Natural clays have now been sampled from more than 300 locations throughout the valley, and their chemistry analyzed via INAA. Spatial averaging was used to create a series of smoothed contour maps showing how clay composition varies over space, and to generate a continuous reference grid of element concentrations against which ceramics can be compared. Within our corpus of Late Classic ceramics, we have identified at least 16 chemically distinct signatures which can be mapped on to these element maps, a strategy which allows us to identify where ceramics were produced and the spatial resolution that can be obtained in mapping those sources. The result is a "ceramic geography" useful for shedding light on intra-valley exchange networks within the Late Classic Valley of Oaxaca.

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From Clay Survey to Ceramic Provenance: Establishing a Ceramic Geography for the Late Classic Valley of Oaxaca. Leah Minc. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396578)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America