Chemical Composition of Maya Slips: Analysis and Interpretation of Preclassic Sherds from Holtun, Guatemala Using pXRF Technology
Slip, a fluid suspension of clay that is applied to the surface of a piece of ceramic, allows for increased control over the functional and aesthetic properties of the finished vessel. The potter can select a slip to provide a more appealing color, texture, and/or luster to the vessel’s surface, while maintaining the favorable functional qualities of the paste.While slip color has long been used as an attribute for classification in the Maya lowlands, only recently have the raw materials of slips been used to inform studies of production and exchange, with much of this work using Late and Terminal Classic period ceramics. This paper presents the results of portable x-ray fluorescence (pXRF) analysis of the chemical composition of red, cream, and black slips on Preclassic ceramic sherds excavated in 2017 from Holtun, Guatemala. Variation, or lack thereof, in the chemical composition of the three colors of slip can suggest change in ceramic production, exchange, and differential access to pottery throughout the site. This research tests the utility of pXRF on slip and also informs models of Preclassic period ceramic production and exchange.
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Chemical Composition of Maya Slips: Analysis and Interpretation of Preclassic Sherds from Holtun, Guatemala Using pXRF Technology. Anna Kebler, Michael Callaghan, Brigitte Kovacevich. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442511)
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min long: -94.197; min lat: 16.004 ; max long: -86.682; max lat: 21.984 ;
Abstract Id(s): 20768