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Ancient Maya PotteryClassification, Analysis, and Interpretation$
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James John Aimers

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780813042367

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813042367.001.0001

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Interpreting Form and Context

Interpreting Form and Context

Ceramic Subcomplexes at Caracol, Nohmul, and Santa Rita Corozal, Belize

(p.46) 4 Interpreting Form and Context
Ancient Maya Pottery

Arlen F. Chase

Diane Z. Chase

University Press of Florida

Arlen Chase and Diane Chase’s chapter serves as a counterpoint to Bill’s because they highlight the inadequacies of type-variety. They argue for context-based approaches to Maya pottery with an emphasis on the associations of whole vessels and refitting of sherds because full or reconstructable vessels from good primary deposits are the ideal material from which to derive information about ancient Maya behaviors and beliefs. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, for any number of reasons (for example, when excavations are limited due to funding or as part of early investigations at a site). I suspect that fewer and fewer projects will have the resources to engage in the sort of intensive sampling the Chases quite reasonably advocate. The reality is that we are often forced to deal with poor samples of sherds (sometimes eroded ones) from secondary or poorly understood contexts. If the resources of the two major projects at Tikal could not solve some of these issues, one wonders how small projects could hope to do so.

Keywords:   type-variety, inadequacies, context-based, approach, whole vessel, sherds, reconstructable vessels, good deposits, intensive sampling, funding

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