variation | technology & function | attributes | assemblages | classification


The collection of artifacts recovered from an archaeological site is called an assemblage. The size of a ceramic assemblage depends upon many things, such as the size of the excavated region, the thickness of the excavated level, the original density of the pottery at the locations, and the degree of fragmentation of the pots.

In many cases, ceramic assemblages from archaeological sites are so large and fragmentary, that the researchers use sampling techniques to develop descriptions of the range of ceramic types or attributes present in an assemblage.

Once the individual potsherds in an assemblage have been formally classified, counted, and their attributes recorded, an archaeologist can begin to analyze and characterize the patterns of ceramics preserved in the assemblage, looking for changing frequencies or co-occurrences of individual attributes or different "types" of pot.

Explore how archaeologist Susan MacIntosh sampled, recorded, and analyzed the ceramic assemblage at Jenne-jeno. [more]
Explore how and why different locations or types of sites can accumulate assemblages of pottery fragments with different characteristics. [more]

The Predynastic cemetery HK 43 at Hierakonpolis (Upper Egypt), which dates to 3600 BC, has the earliest recorded examples of hair extensions and hair die in the entire world.

Explore Lithic technology from the archaeologist's perspective. [more]
Explore Ceramics from the perspective of an archaeologist as well as a potter. [more]
Explore agriculture in the archaeological record. [more]
Netscape Navigator
Microsoft Internet Explorer
Macromedia Flash Player
Macromedia Shockwave
Adobe Acrobat Reader