Ancient Engineering: Selective Ceramic Processing in the Middle Balsas Region of Guerrero, Mexico
by Jennifer Meanwell. xiv+352 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 36 2017 Paris Monographs in American Archaeology 48
. Available both in print and Open Access.
Printed ISBN 9781784916503. £60.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784916510.
This volume has two main objectives: establishing a chronology of the Middle Balsas and detailing the region’s pottery production methods. The author posits that pottery intended for different functions was often deliberately made and/or decorated in ways that were chosen to make the vessels more appropriate for their intended functions. More specifically, this study determines whether any of the pottery production patterns identified in the region are linked to specific constraints imposed by the materials during the process of pottery manufacture. For example, it examines whether variables such as vessel shape and wall thickness correlate with the clay types and processing techniques determined during thin section analysis of the ancient sherds. Additionally, certain production behaviours are identified that are characteristic of the entire region and that can be used as markers of local tradition.
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