Ceramic Classification and Social Process

Author(s): Alice Hunt

Year: 2016


Sir Flinders Petrie revolutionized archaeological ceramic analysis in 1904 by developing ‘sequence dating’ —the relative dating of strata, buildings or tombs based on changes in formal and stylistic attributes of vessels overtime as determined by seriation. Since the efficacy of sequence dating is directly related to the quality of the typology upon which it is based, stylistic typologies and classification of ceramic have been the norm for the last century, despite their manifold limitations. In an age of readily available, high-resolution direct dating methods, there is no need for seriation dating or stylistic ceramic classification. Instead, ceramic analysis can begin to look at deeper social processes and behaviors, such as resource management, social values and technological innovation. In this paper, we propose a morphometric, formal classification of ceramic vessels from the recent excavations at Tierras Nuevas (Manatí, Puerto Rico) to revise previous stylistic classifications and reveal human motivations and social processes at work during the Late Ostionoid/Taíno period.

Cite this Record

Ceramic Classification and Social Process. Alice Hunt. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403055)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -90.747; min lat: 3.25 ; max long: -48.999; max lat: 27.683 ;