Social Change and the Evolution of Ceramic Production and Distribution in a Maya Community
How and why do ceramics and their production change through
time? Social Change and the Evolution of Ceramic Production and
Distribution in a Maya Community is a unique
ethno-archaeological study that attempts to answer these questions
by tracing social change among potters and changes in the
production and distribution of their pottery in a single Mexican
community between 1965 and 1997.
Dean E. Arnold made ten visits to Ticul, Yucatan, Mexico,
witnessing the changes in transportation infrastructure, the use of
piped water, and the development of tourist resorts. Even in this
context of social change and changes in the demand for pottery,
most of the potters in 1997 came from the families that had made
pottery in 1965. This book traces changes and continuities in that
population of potters, in the demand and distribution of pottery,
and in the procurement of clay and temper, paste composition,
forming, and firing.
In this volume, Arnold bridges the gap between archaeology and
ethnography, using his analysis of contemporary ceramic production
and distribution to generate new theoretical explanations for
archaeologists working with pottery from antiquity. When the
descriptions and explanations of Arnold's findings in Ticul are
placed in the context of the literature on craft specialization, a
number of insights can be applied to the archaeological record that
confirm, contradict, and nuance generalizations concerning the
evolution of ceramic specialization. This book will be of special
interest to anthropologists, archaeologists, and ethnographers.
Subjects: Sociology, Archaeology, Anthropology, History
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