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Title: Ceramic production and consumption in the Maya lowlands during the Classic to Postclassic transition : a technological study of ceramics at Lamanai, Belize
Author: Howie, Linda Ann
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2006
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This study investigates continuity and change in ceramic production and consumption during the Classic to Postclassic transition (c. A.D.750 - A.D.1050) at the Maya centre of Lamanai, a community that stands out for its continued prosperity during a time changing world conditions. It examines the ways in which community-based activities involving ceramics were affected by developments at a regional level, such as the disruption of networks of politico-economic relations, population migrations and military pressures. Variability in ceramics is examined in terms of vessel style, raw materials and technology, to reveal continuity and change in local manufacturing traditions, in addition to illuminating the provenance of a range of ceramics. In addressing these questions, an approach was adopted that integrates traditional macroscopic methods of examination with thin section petrography, neutron activation analysis and scanning electron microscopy. The mineralogical, chemical and structural data generated are interpreted in the light of archaeological and geological information, in order to reconstruct the community-level patterns of ceramic production and consumption. The research has produced a host of new information on ceramic change for the Terminal Classic to Early Postclassic period. The results of the study reveal a period of cultural transition within the community, marked by innovative ideas and their blending with well established pottery traditions. Local craft practice and consumption patterns point to significant changes in ritual and ceremonial practice, emphasising an interplay between these and the way in which pottery is manufactured. It is argued that these transformations in craft and ritual practice were triggered by a new emphasis on the creation and maintenance of a community identity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available