ANT 383M • Technological Analysis: Ceramics
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
In this course we will learn basic techniques of ceramic analysis for archaeological research, and examine different aspects of ceramic production, exchange, use, and discard using a variety of archaeological and ethnographic sources. Such an intensive focus on ceramics might seem an odd endeavor from an anthropological perspective, but ceramics make up the bulk of archaeological artifacts and are frequently used to make inferences about past economies, social relations, political life, and cultural practice.
The course will be a combination of seminar and laboratory analysis. Throughout the semester we will discuss a broad range of literature on ceramics, including technological analysis, chemical characterization, the literature on style and function, and ethnoarchaeological research on contemporary ceramic producers. In the lab portion of the class we will learn basic ceramic characterization techniques, including surface description, analysis of the paste, ceramic typologies, chemical characterization, mineralogy, drawing, and others. Successful completion of the class will depend upon student participation in class discussion, completion of laboratory assignments, a description of a small collection of archaeological ceramics, and a research design or proposal presented as a term paper. The course is open to undergraduates with consent from the advisor and instructor.