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Ceramics of Ancient AmericaMultidisciplinary Approaches$
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Yumi Park Huntington, Dean E. Arnold, and Johanna Minich

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056067

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056067.001.0001

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“Ceramic Sets” in Maya and Toltec Ceramics

“Ceramic Sets” in Maya and Toltec Ceramics

The Search for Innovation and Competition in Ancient Mesoamerican Pottery Systems

(p.277) 10 “Ceramic Sets” in Maya and Toltec Ceramics
Ceramics of Ancient America

George J. Bey III

University Press of Florida

This chapter suggests a way Mesoamerican archaeologists can move beyond the Type-Variety system of ceramic classification. It offers evidence for a ceramic unit called the “ceramic set.” It is assumed consumers within a culture each had a similar range of serving and preparation needs and the range of formal variation found in different types of ceramics represented an effort by different producers to meet these needs. The range of forms found within one of these types a "ceramic set." Ceramic set are further defined as a series of forms that are similar in paste, slip, and surface treatment but which are used for a variety of serving needs. The chapter examines the evidence for ceramic sets in two Mesoamerica societies, the Toltec of Central Mexico (A.D. 900–1150) and the Maya of the Southern Lowlands (A.D. 700–1000) in an effort to provide a new method for identifying the nature of household activities in these societies. It also examines whether ceramic sets allow archaeologists to define evidence of innovation and competition in the production and distribution of ceramics in Pre-Columbian pottery economic systems.

Keywords:   Ceramics, Mesoamerica, Type-Variety, Maya, Toltec

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