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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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Acanmul, Becán, and the Xcocom Phenomenon through a Type-Variety Looking Glass

Acanmul, Becán, and the Xcocom Phenomenon through a Type-Variety Looking Glass

Resolving Historical Enigmas through Hands-On Typological Assessments

(p.142) 9 Acanmul, Becán, and the Xcocom Phenomenon through a Type-Variety Looking Glass
Ancient Maya Pottery

Joseph Ball

Jennifer Taschek

University Press of Florida

In a chapter rich with culture-historical interpretations as well as methodological commentary, Joseph Ball and Jennifer Taschek begin with the useful reminder (via Robert Sonin) that type-variety classification is not analysis but merely a step toward analysis. Too often in Maya archaeology there is a sense that type-variety classification is standard operating procedure for pottery and if one simply “does” type-variety, then any number of interpretations on a variety of topics can then be extracted from the classification. I believe this is a part of a usually unexamined assumption that all type-variety classifications are essentially equivalent and easily comparable. On the contrary, the questions one is posing will shape how the classification proceeds (as Rice notes at the beginning of her chapter, the corollary is that classifications also limit the research questions one can address), so research questions should be defined before the classification begins. Once the questions and methods of classification are defined, classification occurs and the analysis flows from there.

Keywords:   type-variety, classification, interpretation, analysis, research questions, questions, methods

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