Anthropology | Pottery in Archaeology
P399 | 16860 | Alt

Above class meets 2nd eight weeks only

There are two major goals in this class. The first is to understand
ceramics by exploring how an analysis is conducted as well as the
theory that informs analysis. The second goal is to try to better
understand ceramics through experimentation such as making and using
simple clay vessels. We will work with an archaeological collection
and learn how to record ceramic data, draw rim profiles, and then use
that information in order to draw meaningful conclusions about the
past. This will require we develop an understanding of how data and
theory can work together to produce insights into past life-ways, as
well as social and political organization.

Our other mission will require students build their own pottery
vessels (with supplied wild clays) and experiment with different clay
formulas and vessel characteristics. We will process and prepare clay
for use, build our vessels and fire them in an open bonfire. Students
need to be prepared to schedule a few classes out of the classroom and
attend the firings. As part of our experimentation we will also engage
in activities such as preparing a meal in traditional ceramic cooking
jars and testing ceramic water jugs.