tDAR Logo tDAR digital antiquity

Spatial, Technological, and Functional Characteristics of Ceramics along the Southern California Coast

Author(s): Jennifer McElhoes ; Carl Lipo

Year: 2017

» Downloads & Basic Metadata


Prehistoric ceramics found across southern California have a discrete spatial distribution. While locally manufactured ceramics are common to the south and southeast of the Los Angeles River, prehistoric ceramic sherds are rare in deposits located to the northwest. This marked distribution is potentially explained through a few hypotheses. Populations to the north may have had access to resources necessary for pottery alternatives or may have differed in their settlement patterns, mobility, and/or subsistence practices. Alternatively, it is possible that ceramics are associated with distinct population histories and that the south is occupied with populations that are derived from the California desert. In this poster, I evaluate measurements of technological and functional variability of ceramic assemblages from deposits across coastal southern California to determine the degree of variation that exists in the use and production methods of vessel ceramics. After ruling out differences in surface age and deposition, if aspects of the environment are correlated with space, it is likely that vessel ceramics are tied to an ecological or economic feature of the environment. Alternatively, random variability across space potentially supports the hypothesis that population histories are largely driving the presence of pottery.

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Cite this Record

Spatial, Technological, and Functional Characteristics of Ceramics along the Southern California Coast. Jennifer McElhoes, Carl Lipo. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430045)


Geographic Keywords
North America - California

Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17466

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