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Micro Computed Tomography in Archaeological Ceramic Studies: A Case Study on Ontario Late Woodland Borderlands

Author(s): Amy St. John

Year: 2017

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The use of Micro Computed Tomography (CT) in archaeological science is a burgeoning field of research which has the potential to transform the ways in which we conduct materials based studies. This technology is only beginning to be used in archaeological ceramic analysis. Since micro CT uses X-rays to provide non-destructive 3D images of the interior and exterior of ceramics, it can isolate features in clay such as temper, inclusions, voids and micro-folds in a unique way. As such, it has great potential to augment traditional techniques when examining ceramic technology. This poster presents the results of ongoing research on one of the first large scale applications of this innovative, non-destructive technique. To examine the potential of micro CT, I scanned and conducted detailed image analysis on more than 50 rim sherds from a series of contemporaneous and sequentially occupied sites (ca. A.D. 1100-1250) from a borderlands area between the archaeological Western Basin and Ontario Iroquoian traditions. The ability of micro CT scanning to identify and visually display idiosyncratic artisan practices through 3D interior ceramic features offers promise to better understand what has been long recognized as the critical, individualistic dimensions of making pots.

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Micro Computed Tomography in Archaeological Ceramic Studies: A Case Study on Ontario Late Woodland Borderlands. Amy St. John. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430093)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -142.471; min lat: 42.033 ; max long: -47.725; max lat: 74.402 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16178

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