Archaeological Ceramics for Beginners: A Hands-On Activity for Introductory Classes


This activity is designed for students who have little or no experience with archaeology and, in many ways, is a classic; archaeological ceramics activities or labs are offered at many institutions. So, why offer it up? For two reasons: first, as a well-proven option that new instructors can use in their classrooms that is explicitly connected to the Principles for Curricular Reform and, second, as a starter for conversations with experienced instructors. The activity engages students with a hands-on, experiential understanding of the properties of clay and temper, the identification and categorization of archaeological ceramics and the interpretation of geospatial ceramic data. Data analysis includes both how materials and artifacts were employed in the past, as well as, the effect of modern peoples on ancient sites. Because it is for beginners, this activity focuses upon Fundamental Archaeological Skills principle of the Principles for Curricular Reform, but also addresses Stewardship, Ethics and Values, and Real-World Problem Solving as well as touching upon the other principles.

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Archaeological Ceramics for Beginners: A Hands-On Activity for Introductory Classes. Benjamin Carter. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396611)