Studying Archaeological Ceramics

  • Carla M. Sinopoli


The first step in any study of archaeological materials is, necessarily, ordering the material into some sort of classificatory system. A pile of undifferentiated sherds can tell us nothing about their producers other than that they made pottery. Classifications may vary considerably, both in how they are generated and in their level of specificity. Bowls versus Jars or Plain versus Decorated are simple binary typologies that provide one way of ordering a body of material. Classing a bowl as a Plain Bowl with Out-turning Rim and Shell Temper provides a more detailed and inclusive definition of a group of vessels.


Neutron Activation Analysis Ceramic Industry Ceramic Type Vessel Shape Shell Temper 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carla M. Sinopoli
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA

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