Beyond Ceramic Provenience: Interdisciplinary Research into Social Practices at LIRAC


Dr. Kostalena Michelaki founded the laboratory for Interdisciplinary Research of Archaeological Ceramics (LIRAC) in 2006, thanks to funding by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation. She established this facility to examine the relationships between technology, society and the environment, through the archaeometric analysis of technological choices made by people in the production and use of ceramics. Scholars working in LIRAC, and in associated McMaster research centres such as the Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research and the McMaster Institute for Applied Radiation Sciences, have analyzed materials from North and South America, the Near East, and the Mediterranean. In this talk we explore three research projects – the Neolithic and Bronze Ages in Calabria, Italy, Late Woodland Ontario, and Formative Period in the Lake Titicaca Basin, Bolivia – to highlight the successes of LIRAC, and reflect on some of the challenges associated with analytical approaches in what might be called a social geoarchaeology. What unites these regionally diverse case studies is their application of geochemical and mineralogical methods to both explore questions of provenance but also underlying social practices. Our paper demonstrates the shared view that embedded within ceramic objects is a record of human decisions that constituted a range of social practices.

Cite this Record

Beyond Ceramic Provenience: Interdisciplinary Research into Social Practices at LIRAC. Andrew Roddick, Greg Braun, Kostalena Michelaki. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431384)

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16139