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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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Product Continuity and Change in Persistent Household Ceramic Production

Product Continuity and Change in Persistent Household Ceramic Production

The Tarascan Case

(p.335) 12 Product Continuity and Change in Persistent Household Ceramic Production
Ceramics of Ancient America

Amy J. Hirshman

University Press of Florida

Theories regarding craft specialization and state emergence have long posited a relationship between the two, with state intervention expected in the production of elite culture. The Late Postclassic West Mexican Tarascan state (AD 1350–1525) seemed to be a perfect case in point, as fine wares are highly identifiable and provide a strong temporal marker for the emergence and duration of the state. Yet ethnographic data from the descendants of the Tarascan state (called the P’urépecha), along with archaeological and chemical evidence for the region indicates that ceramic production did not undergo a significant reorganization with state emergence and that even Tarascan fine wares were apparently made and used within commoner households. As household ceramic production is commonly characterized as technically and stylistically conservative, the “how” and “why” of the production of new ceramic Tarascan state markers indicates that the relationships between households and the state were far more complex than originally anticipated. 

Keywords:   Tarascan state, P’urépecha, household ceramic production, state emergence

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