Anthropology and Classical Studies Faculty Research

Title

Purepecha Pottery Ethnoarchaeology

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Spring 2007

Abstract

Most pottery studies begin with production and end with use. Yet every pot and sherd was discarded to enter the archaeological record, and archaeologists neglect this critical passage. We must know more about how long pots lasted and why they were discarded. For five years we studied the use life of ethnographic Purépecha pottery in Michoacán, Mexico. Use life affects discard rate, which affects assemblage size and composition, which affect inferences to social context of production, occupation span, precision and validity of seriation, and other things. Use life is not so trivial or tedious as it may seem but instead is a vital concern in any intelligent archaeological analysis of pottery.

Publication Title

Archaeological Papers of the Anthropological Association

Volume

16

Issue

1

First Page

47

Last Page

56