Preclassic Maya Ceramic Production and Distribution: Preliminary Petrographic Analysis from the Mopan Valley, Belize
Author(s): Alessandra Villarreal
Understanding the organization of ancient ceramic production and distribution patterns can provide archaeologists a means of exploring past economies. Recent studies have shown that petrographic analysis can be operationalized to detect variability in production recipes, distribution of production groups across a landscape, and even producer-specific material choices. Ceramicists working in the Maya lowlands have demonstrated the benefit of using petrographic analysis in conjunction with other methods including type/variety. Few studies, however, have focused on the Preclassic period to address questions related to early economic organization through ceramic production and distribution. Fewer still have engaged with traditional potters whose knowledge of local clay sources prove invaluable to the broader discussion of ceramic production. This paper presents the preliminary results of a study from the Mopan Valley, Belize, comparing ceramics from domestic and public contexts to clay sources from the greater Xunantunich area. The study incorporates the petrographic analysis of three locally known clay sources and two buried sources discovered during excavation, as well as Middle Preclassic ceramics from both domestic and public contexts. The initial results have important implications for archaeologists’ understanding of the organization of production and distribution of early ceramics in this region.
Cite this Record
Preclassic Maya Ceramic Production and Distribution: Preliminary Petrographic Analysis from the Mopan Valley, Belize. Alessandra Villarreal. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442883)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
min long: -94.197; min lat: 16.004 ; max long: -86.682; max lat: 21.984 ;
Abstract Id(s): 22106