Ceramic Production in the American Southwest
Southwestern ceramics have always been admired for their variety and aesthetic beauty. Although ceramics are most often used for placing the peoples who produced them in time, they can also provide important clues to past economic organization. This volume covers nearly 1000 years of southwestern prehistory and history, focusing on ceramic production in a number of environmental and economic contexts. It brings together the best of current research to illustrate the variation in the organization of production evident in this single geographic area. The contributors use diverse research methods in their studies of vessel form and decoration. All support the conclusion that the specialized production of ceramics for exchange beyond the household was widespread. The first seven chapters focus on ceramic production in specific regions, followed by three essays that re-examine basic concepts and offer new perspectives. Because previous studies of southwestern ceramics have focused more on distribution than production, Ceramic Production in the American Southwest fills a long-felt need for scholars in that region and offers a broad-based perspective unique in the literature. The Southwest lacked high levels of sociopolitical complexity and economic differentiation, making this volume of special interest to scholars working in similar contexts and to those interested in craft production.
"This volume is strong from cover to cover, and the editors should be congratulated for assembling such a fine group of authors. What makes these articles especially interesting is that many of the researchers (e.g., Abbott, Crown, Hegmon, Wilson, Blinman, and Mills) have a long-standing interest in their particular area which enables them to draw from years of research and to use multiple lines of evidence in their arguments." James M. Skibo, American Anthropologist