Ancient Maya Pottery: Classification, Analysis, and by James John Aimers

By James John Aimers

“Aimers has introduced jointly top Maya ceramicists who offer their candid perspectives on how they classify pottery. This quantity is of specific theoretical energy for the dialogue on terminology in category, either for seriously comparing the type-variety procedure and for common type of pottery.”—Heather McKillop, writer of Salt

“At final, we've the chance to benefit the capability strengths in addition to the pitfalls of a unmarried process for the examine of the prehistoric Maya.”—Fred Valdez Jr., coeditor of Ancient Maya Commoners

“An exciting trip via an analytical process that's foundational to development deep and complicated histories but is deployed with a flexibility that a few settle for and others question.”—Patricia A. McAnany, college of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

“Aimers has pulled jointly a sequence of theoretical, methodological, and noticeable papers by way of favorite Maya ceramicists that assessment the advance, present software, and obstacles of the type-variety method.”—E. Wyllys Andrews, Tulane University

the traditional Maya produced a extensive variety of ceramics that has attracted concerted scholarly recognition for over a century.  Pottery sherds—the such a lot ample artifacts recovered from sites—reveal a lot approximately creative expression, spiritual ritual, financial structures, cooking traditions, and cultural trade in Maya society.

this present day, approximately each Maya archaeologist makes use of the type-variety classificatory framework for learning sherd collections. This extraordinary quantity brings jointly a few of the archaeologists signally eager about the research and interpretation of old Maya ceramics and represents new findings and state of the art pondering. the result's a e-book that serves either as a helpful source for archaeologists eager about pottery category, research, and interpretation and as an illuminating exploration of historical Mayan culture.

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Extra info for Ancient Maya Pottery: Classification, Analysis, and Interpretation

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In this revised formulation, at least some ceramic systems (that is, those with “considerable time depth”) constitute a geographically broad counterpart to certain local ceramic traditions (that is, long-standing practices with regard Types and Traditions, Spheres and Systems to the making of certain kinds of vessels), the latter representing specific renditions of generic area-wide conventions, and both reflecting a continuity in certain widely shared ideas and practices with regard to making and, especially it seems, decorating a pot.

For example, in both the Southwest and the Southeast, the early emphasis was on surface finish. Similarly, in the Maya area, variables of surface finish and decoration were deemed most important and therefore prescribed as the basis for the first sorting, because surface finish was held to be the “most susceptible of ceramic attributes to culturally determined change” (Adams 1971: 7, 2008: 222). Regardless of the veracity of this assertion, mitigating preservation issues must be remembered: Southwestern pottery enjoys excellent preservation of its complex polychrome decoration because of the region’s dry environment, and in the humid Southeast the surface finish is usually plastic manipulation, which also preserves well.

In the twenty-first century, other issues are of greater interest and may or may not be addressed by the type-variety system. Regardless, it is these underlying theoretical goals that move us beyond simple systematics and into the realms of analysis and interpretation of pottery. Historical Development of the Type-Variety System Methods of classification in general and type-variety in particular are a uniquely Americanist concern of the past two centuries (see Willey and Sabloff 1980), particularly with respect to determining the origins—ethno-culturally and temporally—of the indigenous inhabitants of North America and the earthen mounds in the eastern United States.

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