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Finding Prehistoric Sources of Ceramic Raw Materials in Ticul, Yucatán, Mexico: Traditional Knowledge, Materiality, and Religion

Author(s): Dean Arnold

Year: 2017

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Summary

Up until the tourist market and piped water forever changed the practice of making pottery in Ticul, potters’ raw materials came from sources in a unique socially-perceived and spatially-restricted landscape that served them well for at least a thousand years. Revealed by ethnographic research, potters’ traditional knowledge and utilization of these sources indicated that the unique sources of potters’ clay, palygorskite, and pottery temper were ancient and dated to the Terminal Classic Period. Although potters no longer associate any religious meaning with these sources, ethnographic research since 1965, and comparative ethnographic and archaeological data indicate that each of these sources probably had religious meaning for the potters in the past. These sources and the materials that come from them were materialized, distilled, and encapsulated in the required use of pottery for properly performing the annual Day of the Dead ceremonies when the spirits of the dead ancestors return from the earth to the land of the living.


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Cite this Record

Finding Prehistoric Sources of Ceramic Raw Materials in Ticul, Yucatán, Mexico: Traditional Knowledge, Materiality, and Religion. Dean Arnold. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429691)


Keywords

General
Ceramics Maya Mining

Geographic Keywords
Mesoamerica


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 13240

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