Results of Petrographic Analysis of Polychromes across the Casas Grandes World

Author(s): Emma Britton

Year: 2015


This research, part of my dissertation, focuses on the mineralogical variability of Casas Grandes polychromes. Whereas past studies have suggested that some Casas Grandes polychrome types are more common in some geographic areas than others (see Brand 1935; De Atley 1980; Findlow and DeAtley 1982; Kelley et al. 1999; Larkin et al. 2004 for more complete discussions), these studies have been challenged as they assume polychromes recovered at sites are made locally, rather than imported (Douglas 1995; Minnis 1984, 1989). Recent studies refocus on polychrome production, as a result (Carpenter 2002, Sphren 2003, Woosley and Olinger's 1993). In my presentation, I will discuss the results of petrographic analysis of polychrome sherds from Sayle's 1936 surface collections, which is geographically extensive. Sayle's (1936) collection will be utilized to determine the extent, strength, and directionality of human relationships across the Casas Grandes region. These sherds are used to examine three interrelated aspects of ceramics: similarities and differences in production sequences, centers of production and distribution, and shared knowledge as determined through paste recipes. Characterization studies, like petrographic analysis, aid in my understanding of variability or standardization of paste-temper across the region, helping to determine past communities of practice and networks of knowledge.

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Cite this Record

Results of Petrographic Analysis of Polychromes across the Casas Grandes World. Emma Britton. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396642)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;