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

By James John Aimers

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

“At final, now we have 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 fascinating trip via an analytical method that's foundational to construction deep and intricate histories but is deployed with a flexibility that a few settle for and others question.”—Patricia A. McAnany, collage of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

“Aimers has pulled jointly a chain of theoretical, methodological, and great papers by means of well known Maya ceramicists that overview the improvement, present software, and barriers of the type-variety method.”—E. Wyllys Andrews, Tulane University
 


the traditional Maya produced a huge variety of ceramics that has attracted concerted scholarly recognition for over a century.  Pottery sherds—the such a lot plentiful artifacts recovered from sites—reveal a lot approximately inventive expression, non secular ritual, financial structures, cooking traditions, and cultural alternate in Maya society.

           
this day, approximately each Maya archaeologist makes use of the type-variety classificatory framework for learning sherd collections. This awesome quantity brings jointly a few of the archaeologists signally excited by the research and interpretation of old Maya ceramics and represents new findings and state of the art considering. the result's a e-book that serves either as a important source for archaeologists fascinated with pottery type, 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

Sample text

On the one side was James Ford (1952) and his adherents (see, for example, Brew 1946; Dunnell 1971a, 1971b), who believed types were arbitrary constructs or concepts imposed over a collection of artifacts by the archaeologist. On the other was Alfred C. Spaulding (1953), who saw types as meaningful, statistically verifiable associations of attributes discovered by archaeologists; like-minded archaeologists (see, for example, Gifford 1960; Rouse 1939) claimed that pottery types are inherent in a collection and represent the ideas (“mental templates”) of the producers and users.

Concerns about “the Indian behind the artifact,” as it was sometimes crudely put, prompted Gifford (1976: 6) to assert that “in conceptual substance ‘type-variety’ is based on whole vessels as opposed to broken pieces (sherds). ” But this is revisionist history. Today, except for comparative exercises, there is generally little need for or value added by classifying whole vessels through type-variety’s formulaic organizational principles designed to create condensed descriptions. The most recent critique of the type-variety system has come from Culbert and Robert L.

This arrival of Copán ceramics coincided with the construction of the site of El Paraíso—a center characterized by sculpted building facades and other architectural features found on the structures at Copán—which appears to have been established as an outpost of, and by, the Copán polity in a region strategically located at a crossroads between a number of heavily populated areas, including those of Copán and its rival Quirigua (see Canuto and Bell 2005). A second, more geographically extensive, kind of ceramic sphere (that encompasses the first) can also be defined in terms of complexes, which share many or most of the same ceramic types but not the same ceramic products.

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