Using Ceramics to Answer Questions
The classification of ceramics into meaningful types is the first necessary step in using ceramic data in archaeological analysis. The next and ultimately more important step is to use those data to answer questions about the past. These questions can focus on differences between past societies or the ways that societies changed over time and space. Temporal changes in ceramic forms can be used to construct chronological sequences. Ceramics can also be examined to consider the spatial distribution of activities in which pots are used within or between sites or regions. Because, as the products of human action, ceramic forms represent the cultural choices of people living in specific historical contexts, ceramic analysis can also inform on the structure of past social, political, or ideological structures. A further topic that can be approached through ceramic analysis is the study of the organization of ceramic production and distribution. Approaches to some of these various questions are the focus of the remainder of this book.
KeywordsNonmetric Multidimensional Scaling Ceramic Production Archaeological Study Past Society Archaeological Analysis
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