Trade and Exchange

pp 165-177


What if the Local is Exotic and the Imported Mundane?

Measuring Ceramic Exchanges in Mormon Utah
  • Timothy James ScarlettAffiliated withMichigan Technological University Email author 

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No archaeologist in western North America is shocked to discover a fragment of White Improved Earthenware. Locally manufactured ceramics, however, are rare and poorly understood. Archaeometric and historical analyses reveal the true complexity of ceramic exchanges in Utah, where pottery and ceramics served key roles in the performance of social and religious identity. This chapter reviews the progress of the Utah Pottery Project, established in 1999 to map the colonization of immigrant potters into the Mormon Domain. Crocks, pots, and jars represent connections between people in space and through time, some readily mapped while the complexity of others are difficult to reduce in a Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis. Utah Pottery Project scholars work toward an integrative approach centered upon exchange where the local is exotic and the foreign is mundane.