The Pot Calling the Kettle Black: Archaeological Assemblages and Ethnographic Communities in Guiana and the Lower Amazon
Author(s): Renzo Duin
Ceramic analysis is essential to understand identity and regional interaction in pre-Columbian (before AD 1492) Amazonia. Underpinning existing ceramic analysis are time-space graphs developed and established in the second half of the twentieth century by Irving Rouse and José Cruxent (Orinoco and Caribbean) and by Betty Meggers and Clifford Evans (Amazon and Guiana). These time-space graphs are grounded in the concept of a culture-historical mosaic, aimed at fixing peoples in time and space by a set of reference points measured in terms of socio-culturally meaningful events such as migrations, contact and conquest. Nevertheless, the development of archaeological and deep-historical research in the twenty-first century has demonstrated that both Amazonia and the Caribbean are more heterogeneous and dynamic than anticipated from the constraining definition of the twentieth century tropical forest culture model. Reconceptualization of social and historical processes is required since recent socio-cultural anthropological studies have demonstrated that social phenomena occur in complex dialectical relationships of negotiating discontinuities and contested practices. To understand the kaleidoscope in pottery styles (some pan-Amazonian others local, some long-term others short-lived, with in-between all types of variants, hybrids, co-existence of styles, and sloping horizons) a dynamic multi-scalar relational alternative to the static space-time graph is anticipated.
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The Pot Calling the Kettle Black: Archaeological Assemblages and Ethnographic Communities in Guiana and the Lower Amazon. Renzo Duin. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404380)
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