Charles C. Kolb, Associate Editor

The column in this issue covers three main topics: 1) summaries of more than a dozen recently published or forthcoming books; 2) notices of three forthcoming conferences; and 3) reports on six conferences that have been held recently. My next column will include a review of listserves with ceramic contents; summaries of World Wide Websites that will be of interest to those concerned with archaeological pottery; and a list of major websites that deal with petrography. Contributions and emendations from our readers are always welcome.

New Publications

Pottery Ethnoarchaeology in the Central Maya Highlands by Michael Deal is scheduled for publication in June 1998 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, Foundations of Archaeological Inquiry, 208 pp., 137 illustrations, 2 appendices, ISBN 0-87480-561-9 $25.00 paper, ISBN 0-87480-560-0 $55.00 cloth). Deal, an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, is known for his ceramic studies in Eastern North America (Maritime Provinces and New England), Mesoamerica (Highland Maya), and more recently, the eastern Mediterranean. The information presented in seven chapters and two appendices was assembled by Deal under the auspices of the Coxoh Ethnoarchaeological Project in Chiapas, Mexico, which sought to establish material culture links between the now extinct Coxoh and modern Maya groups in the region. Data collected from each Maya household focused on family social structure, settlement characteristics, economic background, and variability in household material culture. The household is studied as a production, consumption, and depositional unit with a view toward determining household socioeconomic conditions as seen in the archaeological record. Two appendices, "Classification of Chanal and Aguacatenango Pottery" and "Glossary of Vessel and Nonvessel Forms," plus references and an index complete the volume. This study is significant not only for providing specific information about ancient Maya ceramic usage but also as a model which demonstrates the use of ceramic data to help interpret archaeological pottery assemblages in other cultures. Additional information may be obtained the University of Utah Press, 1795 E. South Campus Drive, Suite 101, Salt Lake City, UT 84112; toll free orders: 1-800/773-6672; e-mail:

Pottery in Rajasthan: Ethnoarchaeology in Two Indian Cities by Carol Kramer (Washington and London: Smithsonian Institution Press, Smithsonian Series in Archaeological Inquiry, 1997, ISBN 1-56-98-740-5 $49.95 cloth), which was cited in the previous issue of the SAA Bulletin 20(3-4):6 (1997), has been reviewed by Charles C. Kolb for the humanities listserves H-ASIA, H-REVIEWS, and H-URBAN and published on 26 March 1998. This eight-page review may be accessed at path=19892891016105.

Studies in the Iron Age Pottery of Israel: Typological, Archaeological, and Chronological Aspects by Orena Zimhoni (Tel Aviv, Israel: Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University, Occasional Publications Series, No. 2, 263 pp., 137 figures and plates, 3 maps, 1997, ISBN 965-266-010-8, $25.00 hardcover). The author, a leading expert on the Iron Age ceramics of Israel, has prepared a topical analysis of pivotal materials related to the debate about the "United Monarchy." Her analysis of early first millennium pottery from Tel ‘Eton, Tel Jezreel (including the Pre-Omride settlement), Lachish (Iron Age II Levels V-IV) and Lachish III and II, documents challenges to the accepted dating of key "chronological anchors" at these sites. The volume may be purchased directly from the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University, P.O. Box 39040, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel, or via e-mail: Summaries of this and other institute publications may be reviewed at website

Radiography of Cultural Material by Janet Lang and Andrew Middleton (Oxford: Butterworth-Heineman, 192 pp., 24 color and 182 halftones, 31 line illustrations, 1997, ISBN 0-7706-2621-6, 45.00 hardback). Both authors are at the Department of Scientific Research at the British Museum, and have written about the theory and practice of radiography, and its use in material culture analyses, curation, conservation, and restoration. Separate chapters consider metals, ceramics, paper, paintings, and human remains. Lang and Middleton also provide an introduction to digital image processing. Middleton prepared the chapter on ceramics (pp. 60-81) and covers topics which include the characterization of clay fabric, imaging and identifying inclusions, analyzing forming and fabrication techniques (both primary techniques and modifications), hybrid vessels and composite objects, and future prospects. Examples are drawn from a variety of cultures: Greek, Islamic, Peruvian (Chimu and Moche), European (British and German), and Bronze Age cultures (Jordanian, Israeli, and Rhodian). The volume may be ordered directly from the publisher, Butterworth-Heineman, Linacre House, Jordan Hill, Oxford OX2 8DP, UK, or by e-mail:

Imported and Locally Produced Pottery: Methods of Identification and Analysis, edited by Andrzey Buko (Warsaw, Poland: SNAP/Scientific Society of Polish Archaeologists, 1998, $7.00 U.S. currency). The 13 papers in this English-language volume, published in late February 1998, result from "I Conference of [the] Pottery Research Group of [the] Committee for Pre- and Protohistoric Sciences of [the] Polish Academy of Sciences." Buko’s initial contribution, "Pottery Provenance and Ceramological Research," sets the stage for 12 essays on European ceramics: Central European imports and imitations, Roman imitations, Iberian amphorae, Polish early Medieval glazed wares, Pomeranian glazed ceramics, 17th century marbled pottery from Warsaw, and Silesian pottery of the Renaissance. To order the volume, write to: SNAP Oddzial w Warszawie, ul. Dluga 52, 00-241, Warszawa, Poland.

Pottery and People: A Dynamic Interaction, edited by James M. Skibo and Gary M. Feinman is scheduled to be published in December 1998 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1998, ISBN 0-87480-576-7, $55.00 cloth; ISBN 0-87480-577-5. $25.00 paper). This volume appears in the "Foundations of Archaeological Inquiry" series, edited by Skibo. Contributors to the volume include Dean E. Arnold, Philip J. Arnold III, Eric Blinman, Patricia L. Crown, Gary M. Feinman, William A. Longacre, Barbara J. Mills, Michael B. Schiffer, Carla M. Sinopoli, James M. Skibo, Barbara L. Stark, James B. Stoltman, and Karen D. Vitelli. Additional information may be obtained the University of Utah Press, 1795 E. South Campus Drive, Suite 101, Salt Lake City, UT 84112; toll free orders: 1-800/773-6672; e-mail:

Ceramic Production in the Andes: Technology, Organization, and Approaches, edited by Izumi Shimada, has been announced as forthcoming by the Museum Applied Center for Archaeology at the University Museum of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. This 15-chapter volume, published as MASCA Research Papers in Science and Archaeology, a supplement to MASCA Volume 15 (1998) is an English-language version of Shimada’s Spanish-language edition of a similar volume published in Peru in 1994: Technologia y organizacion de la produccion ceramica prehispanica en los Andes (Lima: Fondo Cultural de la Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, 1994, ISBN 94-89309-92-2). A majority of the 17 chapters from the 1994 edition appear in the re-edited English edition; in addition, three chapters are deleted from the original and one replacement contribution is inserted. The 15 chapters comprising the English version are authored by Shimada; Shimada, Elera A., Chang, Glascock, Neff, U. Wagner, and Gebhard; Russell, Leonard, and Briceño R.; Uceda and Armas; Cleland and Shimada; Raymond, Oyuela G., and Carmichael; U. Wagner, Gebhard, Morad, Riederer, Shimada, Ulbert, and F. E. Wagner; Cummins; Carmichael; Anders, Chang J., Shimada, Tokuda, and Quiroz; Pozzi-Escot B., Alarcón, and Vivanco; D’Altroy, Lorandi, and Williams; and Hayashida. Prudence M. Rice and Dean E. Arnold provide separate commentaries on the papers. Further information about the date of publication and the cost of this volume may be obtained by contacting: University Museum Publications, 33rd and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19104; Telephone 800/306-1941 or 215/898-4124, or by e-mail:

The Early Porcelain Kilns of Japan: Arita in the First Half of the Seventeenth Century, by Oliver Impey (Oxford: Clarendon Press, Oxford Oriental Monographs, New Series, 156 pp., 1996, ISBN 0-1982-6370-8, $165.00 hardcover). This expensive but very important work contains 12 chapters, two appendices, three maps, a bibliography, and glossary. Impey’s volume is the first book in an English language to document porcelain production in Japan during the first half of the seventeenth century, tracing the beginnings of the Japanese industry to the period when export trade to Europe and the Middle East developed. Arita porcelain was made for the Japanese domestic market and, therefore, is little known in the West. The author presents a comprehensive reconstruction of the production practices of Japanese potters during the seventeenth century, assesses the individual kilns of Arita, and examines modern workshop methods in order to evaluate manufacture during the seventeenth century. Impey’s study also documents which of the kilns were working, when these were in production, and which types of porcelain were being produced. He also documents conclusively that the "problematic" porcelain of Old Kutani is nearly all of Arita manufacture. Further information may be obtained from the website: http://www/

Hispanic New Mexican Pottery: Evidence of Craft Specialization 1790-1890, written by Charles M. Carrillo, provides a needed synthesis of an important topic for a crucial timeframe. This unique, well-written book, a revision of the author’s dissertation, is published by LPD Press [2400 Rio Grande Blvd. NW, #1213, Albuquerque, NM 87104-3222; Telephone 505/344-9382], (xvii +265 pp., 13 figures, 2 maps, 60 plates, 2 tables, ISBN 0-9641542-3-4, $37.95 cloth). It is distributed by the University of New Mexico Press [1720 Lomas Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87131-1591; Telephone 505/277-3350 for customer service and 800/622-8667 for orders]. Charlie Carrillo, holds a Ph.D. in anthropological archaeology (1996) from the University of New Mexico and is recognized for his research on historic santos of northern New Mexico and the excavation of historic archaeological sites. In this volume Carrillo combines archaeological, ethnographic, documentary, and oral historical records in his consideration of Spanish Colonial New Mexico and the evidence from New Mexico, during the nineteenth century. He provides a useful historical overview and presents an archaeological case study of Abiquiu, a Hispanic village with a complicated history beginning in 1734. In Chapter 4, he examines and tests Dean Arnold’s model (Ceramic Theory and Cultural Process, 1985), considers demographic pressures and other factors, and documents archaeological and craft specialization implications. Carillo (1997:30) notes that "the application of Dean Arnold’s 1985 model to the archaeology of Hispanic New Mexico has significant potential for archaeological studies in the Southwest and for ceramic studies in general."

The Kirkpatricks’ Pottery in Illinois: A Family Tradition by Bonnie L. Gums, Eva Dodge Mounce, and Floyd Mansberger (Urbana: University of Illinois, Illinois Transportation Archaeological Research Program, TAAR 3, 96 pp., 1997, paperback) is distributed by CAA Press, P. O. Box 366, Kampsville, IL 62053 ($8.00 + $4.00 postage and handling). This volume is an historical and archaeological study of the Kirkpatricks’ potteries which operated in Illinois from 1836 to 1906, but focuses upon excavated kilns and ceramics from the pottery works located in LaSalle County in northern Illinois which was in operation from 1836 through 1871.

Ceramics and Delaware Valley Prehistory: Insights from the Abbott Farm by R. Michael Stewart (edited and produced by Charles A. Bello, Archaeological Society of New Jersey; Trenton, Archaeological Society of New Jersey, Trenton Complex Archaeology Report 14, x + 309 pp., 119 figures, 3 tables, 1998, no ISBN, paperback, no price stated). The author is a faculty member in the Department of Anthropology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. Funding to publish this analysis came from the Federal Highway Administration and New Jersey Department of Transportation Bureau of Environmental Analysis; The Cultural Resource Group of Louis Berger & Associates, Inc.; and the Archaeological Society of New Jersey. The volume provides an up-to-date description of pottery recovered at the Abbott Farm National Landmark, and provides chronologies, and regional comparisons. This important work was recently distributed with the society’s Bulletin 52 (for subscription year 1997). Information may be obtained from Charles A. Bello, Bulletin Editor, 19 Ledge Lane, Pipersville, PA 18947; e-mail:

The Encyclopedia of Underwater and Maritime Archaeology edited by James P. Delgado (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1998, ISBN 0-300-07427-1, $55.00 cloth), published in association with the British Museum Press, was published initially in England as the British Museum Encyclopaedia of Underwater and Maritime Archaeology (London: British Museum Press, 1997, 29.95). Of particular interest is an entry entitled "Ceramic studies" (pp. 94-95) authored by Dr. Teresita Majewski (Statistical Research, Inc., Tucson, AZ). She considers the significance of ceramic analyses to the cultural interpretation of shipwrecks, submerged towns (such as Port Royal, Jamaica), and Mesoamerican cenotes and lakes. Majewski also reviews the concepts of provenance, qualitative observations (including decoration), chronometric techniques (thermoluminescence), the construction of typologies, the importance of comparative materials (such as Mediterranean amphoras), and the significance of artifact locations within shipwrecks. In addition she also provides a list of ten suggested readings, among them recent works by Bass, Deagan, and Marken, as well as Goggin’s classic study of Spanish olive jars (1960), and Pearson’s Conservation of Marine Archaeological Objects (1987). A review of this volume, prepared by Charles C. Kolb for the H-PCAACA (Popular Culture and American Culture Associations) listserve on H-NET, may be accessed directly at: =21917895003940.

An excellent volume entitled Traces of the Past: Unraveling the Secrets of Archaeology through Chemistry by Joseph B. Lambert has recently been published (Reading, MA: Helix Books, Addison-Wesley, 1997, viii + 319 pp., ISBN 0-201-40928-30, $30.00 hardcover). "Chapter 3: Pottery" (pp. 48-70), "Chapter 4: Color" (pp. 71-103), and "Chapter 5: Glass" (pp. 104-128) are of particular interest. A review of this volume prepared by Charles C. Kolb appeared in American Scientist 86(3):290, 292 (May-June 1998), and a review by James Burton begins on page 12 of this issue. Additional information about the volume may be obtained from the publisher’s website:

Geoarchaeology: The Earth-Science Approach to Archaeological Interpretation is the title of a textbook written by George (Rip) Rapp, Jr., and Christopher L. Hill (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1998, xiii + 274 pp., 63 illustrations, ISBN 0-300-07075-6 cloth $40.00, ISBN 0-300-07076-4 paper $22.50). In this comprehensive textbook consisting of nine chapters, the authors present a theoretical and historical overview; consider sediments and soils; review the contexts of archaeological record formation; and summarize paleoenvironmental reconstructions. In addition, they; document raw materials and resources; consider provenance studies; explicate techniques for age estimation; present a summary on geological mapping, remote sensing, and survey; and conclude with an analysis of construction and destruction, site preservation, and materials conservation. Chapter 2, "Sediments and Soils and the Creation of the Archaeological Record" (pp. 18-49) is particularly useful to students interested in ceramics. Information about clays (pp.124-141), temper (pp. 141-142), and petrographic analysis and thin sectioning (pp. 149-151) are also included. Yale University Press (302 Temple Street, New Haven, CT 06520) may be contacted by telephone: 203/432-0960. The press has a website at: The volume is also a selection offered by the Natural Science Book Club.

Rediscovering Darwin: Evolutionary Theory and Archeological Explanation edited by C. Michael Barton and Geoffrey A. Clark (Arlington, VA: American Anthropological Association, Archeological Papers 7, 1997, ISBN 0-9131167-87-8 paperback, price not given), contains 17 chapters. Chapter 5, "Methodology of Comparison in Evolutionary Archaeology" (pp. 75-94), authored by Hector Neff (University of Missouri, Columbia) and Daniel O. Larson (California State University, Long Beach) considers that evolutionary archaeology needs methods for recognizing how the selective retention of cultural variation shaped the archaeological record. The authors derive adaptive hypotheses from evolutionary design arguments and test a hypothesis about the evolution of local productive specialization. They ask the question "how does selection shape the patterning of ceramic formal and compositional diversity in the archaeological record?" Examples of ceramic diversity drawn from Pacific Coastal Guatemala, The Southern Basin of Mexico, and the American Southwest are employed to test the model. Further information may be obtained from the AAA Publications Office, Suite 640, 4350 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203-1620; Telephone 703/528-1902, Extension 5; URL:

The seventh installment of "Ceramics: Recent Book Reviews," authored by Charles C. Kolb, will appear in the September issue of La Tinaja: A Newsletter of Archaeological Ceramics 11(3), 1998. Kolb’s previous annual tabulations of recent reviews of books and monographs concerning pottery and ceramic technology have appeared in La Tinaja 5(3):7-11 (September 1992), 6(2):5-8 June 1993), 8(1):5-8 (January 1995), 8(4.1):4-9 (September 1995), 9(3):6-10 (September 1996), and 10(3):11-15 (September 1997).

Forthcoming Conferences

Conference on 15th Century Asian Ceramics

From 23-25 October 1998, The Field Museum of Natural History and the Asian Ceramic Research Organization (ACRO) will host a conference entitled "Asian Ceramica: Resolving the Enigmas of the 15th Century." The symposium will explore three major themes: environment and ceramics, technology and production, and cross cultural influences of 15th century ceramics in Asia. This will be the third in an ongoing series of international conferences on Asian pottery. The program for the conference has recently been announced. The "Preliminary Speaker Roster" includes: Chuimei Ho and Malcolm N. Smith (Field Museum/ACRO), "Fifteenth Century Asia and Ceramics;" Hiram W. Woodward, Jr. (Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, MD), "Southeast Asian Design Motifs and Their Historical Context;" Kim Young-Won (Kongju National Museum, Korea), "The 15th Century Korean Ceramics — Unique Style and Foreign Influences;" Trinh Cao Tuong (Vietnam Archaeological Institute, Hanoi), "Vietnam and Vietnamese Ceramics in the 15th Century;" Ouyang Shibin (Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute, China), "15th Century Chinese Ceramics Made at Private Kilns;" Echo D. Evetts (American Ceramic Circle, Washington, DC), "A Conservator’s View;" Sayan Prishanchit (The 2nd Office of Archaeology and National Museums, Thailand), "Ceramic Production in 15th Century Thailand;" Peter D. Holmes (University of New Zealand, Auckland), "The Thousand Dragons: Ceramic Production in Southeastern Asia;" Pierre-Yves Manguin (Ecole Francaise D’Extreme Orient, Paris), "Transportation and Communications;" Pamela Vandiver (Smithsonian Institution, Center for Materials Research and Education), "Green Glaze Technology;" Miyata Etsuko (Hagi Uragami Museum, Hagi, Japan), "15th Century Southeast Asian Ceramics;" Allison I. Diem (Independent Scholar, Manila), "Influences of North Vietnamese Kilns on Ceramic Production in the Central Region of Vietnam;" Hsieh Ming-leung (National Taiwan University, Taipei), "Japanese Collectors Attitude on Chinese Ceramics in the 15th/16th Century;" Arakawa Masaaki (Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Tokyo), "The Tea Ceremony and Ceramic Utensils of 15th Century Japan;" Richard Wilson (International Christian University, Tokyo), "Fifteenth Century Ceramic Assemblages in Okinawan Castles;" Sumitr Pithiphat (Thammasat University, Bangkok), "Thailand Review;" Morimoto Asaka (Independent Scholar, Japan), "An Approach to the Enigmas: Observations from Hakata’s Archaeological Data;" Roxanna Brown (Independent Scholar, Los Angeles), "Evidence in Southeast Asia for a Ming Gap Involving Chinese Blue-and-White Ceramics."

Session chairpersons include: Donald F. Lach and Katherine Tsiang Mino (University of Chicago), Chapurukha M. Kusimba (Field Museum), Ross Edman (University of Illinois at Chicago), Mary Lawton, Loyola University, Chicago), and Elinor Pearlstein (The Art Institute, Chicago). In addition, Roxanna Brown, Bennet Bronson (Field Museum), Charles C. Kolb (National Endowment for the Humanities), Bernd Jesse (The Art Institute, Chicago), and James C. Y. Watt (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) will serve as discussants for the sessions. The commentator for the entire conference will be Dean E. Arnold (Wheaton College, IL) who was also the "wrap up" speaker for ACRO’s second international conference in 1996.

Approximately two hundred scholars, academics, museum professionals, collectors, students, and interested members of the public are expected to attend. For further information, please contact Malcolm Smith, Anthropology, The Field Museum of Natural History, Anthropology Department, Roosevelt Road at Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605; Telephone: 312/922-9410, Ext. 832; FAX 312/427-7269; e-mail:

Conferences Planned

Ceramic Ecology ‘98

"Ceramic Ecology ’98," an international and interdisciplinary symposium which honors the contributions to ceramic studies made by Frederick R. Matson – ceramic engineer, archaeometrician, ceramic ethnoarchaeologist, and ethnographer – emphasizes the technological and socioeconomic aspects of ceramic materials regardless of chronology or geography. Symposiasts represent a variety of disciplines ranging from art historians and professional potters to ethnoarchaeologists, archaeometricians, and physicochemical and materials scientists. The twelfth annual Ceramic Ecology Symposium will be held at the 1998 annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Wednesday, December 2, 1998, 6:00 pm, in Philadelphia. As in the past, the conference co-organizers are Louana M. Lackey (Maryland Institute, College of Arts) and Charles C. Kolb (National Endowment for the Humanities). This year, Barbara L. Stark (Chair and Professor of Anthropology, Arizona State University) will be the symposium discussant. This year a majority of the papers concern ceramic materials from the Andes or South and East Asia. The scheduled presentations include: Louise Cort (Freer and Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution) and Leedom Lefferts (Department of Anthopology, Drew University), "A Preliminary Cultural Geography of Contemporary Village-based Earthenware Production in Mainland Southeast Asia;" Frances Hayashida (Physik Dept., Technische Universitet München, München, Germany), Michael Glascock (Missouri University Research Reactor), Werner Husler (Technische Universitet München, München), Hector Neff (Missouri University Research Reactor), Joseph Riederer (Rathgen Research Laboratory, Berlin), and Ursel Wagner (Technische Universitet München, München, Germany) "State Pottery Production in the Inka Provinces: Archaeometric Perspectives" [Note: Frances will join the faculty of the Department of Anthropology at The Pennsylvania State University in the Fall of 1998]; Chuimei Ho (Department of Anthropology, Field Museum of Natural History; and Asian Ceramic Research Organization [ACRO]), "Sino-Indonesian/Malaysian Ceramic Making in Borneo;" Charles C. Kolb (National Endowment for the Humanities), "One If by Land, Two If by Sea: The State, Ceramic Production and Distribution – Imperial Entanglements in Rome, India, and China;" Louana M. Lackey (Maryland Institute, College of Art), "Who, What, When, Where: Recent Research on Ceramics;" Maria A. Masucci (Department of Anthropology, Drew University) "Imported Vessels, Population Movement, or Technological Change? Tracing the Expansion of the Prehistoric Manteño, Coastal Ecuador;" Ken Sasaki (International Research Center for Japanese Studies, Osaka, Japan) "Ceramics Approach to Redistribution in [Japanese] Prehistory;" Ilse Schütz (Museo de Alfareria, Agost [Alicante], Spain), "Women’s Participation in Traditional Spanish Pottery Production;" Arleyn W. Simon (Arizona State University), "Ceramics and Settlement: Salado Social Dynamics in Central Arizona;" Michael S. Tite (Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, University of Oxford, UK), "Cooking Pots and Their Thermal Shock Resistance."

Reservations for paper presentations at Ceramic Ecology symposia scheduled for the years 1999 and 2000 are currently being received. Please e-mail Charlie Kolb for further information:

Mesoamerican Ceramic Figurines

"Mesoamerican Ceramic Figurines II," a follow-up symposium to the very successful conference held at the annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in 1996 in Nashville, is being planned for the SAA’s 64th annual meeting to be held in Chicago, 24-28 March 1999. Like the 1996 meeting, this symposium is being co-organized and co-chaired by Charles C. Kolb and Cynthia Otis Charlton. For further information, please contact Charlie Kolb by e-mail:

Recent Conferences


The Joint Meeting of the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology and Society for Historical Archaeology (SPMA-SHA) was held from 3-7 November 1997 in London at the Museum of London and the British Museum. Among the 29 papers presented, two that were given at the British Museum on 4 November, concerned ceramic materials: "Redwares, Borderwares & Tinglazed Wares" by Beverly Nenk (British Museum), Jacqui Pearce and Roy Stephenson (Museum of London Archaeological Service); and "Excavations at the Donyatt Potteries, Somerset" by Richard Coleman Smith (Director, Donyatt Research Group).

Smithsonian Research in Mexico

The Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution sponsored a program entitled "Smithsonian Research in Mexico" which was held in Washington, DC on 27 February 1998. This was the first annual forum on current and future anthropological research in Mexico and featured nine presentations by Smithsonian staff, fellows, and associates. One paper focussed on ceramic materials. Maria Sprehn, a pre-doctoral Smithsonian Research Fellow for 1997-1998, gave a paper, "Pottery Production in Prehistoric Northern Mexico," in which she presented a research design to study systematically 400 polychrome pottery vessels from 14th century Casas Grandes by employing an elaborated paradigm based on Costin’s specialization model (context, scale, concentration, and intensity) with particular emphasis on labor investment, efficiency, standardization, and skill.

Society for American Archaeology

The 63rd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology was held in Seattle, WA from 25-29 March 1998. At least 125 papers devoted to ceramics were presented in various symposia, and in three important symposia. An SAA symposium, "Glass to Ceramics: Archaeometry: in Archaeological Provenance and Technological Studies," (Sponsored by the Society for Archaeological Sciences) with 12 papers (seven of which considered ceramics), was organized by Arleyn W. Simon and Nancy H. Olsen, with Robert H. Tykot and Jeffrey S. Dean serving as discussants. "Ceramic Ethnoarchaeology", a symposium organized by Brenda Bowser, with Michelle Hegmon and Cathy L. Costin as discussants, had nine presentations. There was also a general session concerned with plain or undecorated ceramics, "Can’t We Just Throw It Away? New Approaches to Plain Pottery," which had 12 papers. This session was organized by Susan A. Dublin and David Yoon; Warren R. DeBoer served as the discussant. A ten-page report on this meeting including a list of the 125 presentations, their authors and affiliations, and paper titles (with additional information apended as necessary about content and culture area or region) has been prepared by Charles C. Kolb. It is being published in La Tinaja: A Newsletter of Archaeological Ceramics 11(2), 1998.

Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology and Northern Ceramic Society

An exhibition, "Digging for Early Porcelain: The Archaeology of 18th-century British Porcelain Factories," continues from 4 April through 21 June 1998 at the City Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, U.K. The exhibition highlights the role of archaeology in the study of early porcelain manufacture in Great Britain, particularly England and Scotland. Major factories located at Limehouse, Pomona, Worcester, Longton Hall, West Pans, and Gilbody are represented. Technical complexity and information provided from wasters are documented. On 25 April 1998, a special open house was held and attended by members of the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology and the Northern Ceramic Society.

Pots, People and Processes

The joint conference for the Society Post-Medieval Archaeology and the Northern Ceramic Society entitled "Pots, People and Processes" was held from 24-26 April 1998 in Stoke-on-Trent, U.K. The theme of the conference was recent work on British ceramics from historical and archaeological perspectives. Over thirty speakers considered ceramic manufacture, firing technology, pottery types, factory excavations and waste assemblages, and distribution and consumption during the past four centuries of British ceramic developments. Speakers included Paul Courtney, Robin Emmerson, Christine Longworth, Noel Boothroyd, David Barker, Ken Murphy, David Higgins, Janet Spavold, John Allen, Katey Banks, Julie Edwards, and Keith Matthews. For additional information about the exhibition and the conference, please contact the conference coordinator, David Barker, Keeper of Archaeology, City Museum & Art Gallery, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 3DE, U.K.; Telephone +44 (0)1782 232323, FAX +44 (0)1782 121200; e-mail:

International Symposium on Archaeometry

The 31st International Symposium on Archaeometry was held from 26 April through 2 May, at the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest. The conference chairman was Michael S. Tite, University of Oxford, who is the editor of the acclaimed journal, Archaeometry. Approximately 270 papers were presented in poster and oral sessions. The topical foci included biomaterials, provenance and technology (metals, stone, and pottery), and round table meetings. Papers on pottery were presented all day on 30 April and on the morning of 1 May. It is anticipated that the scientific papers from the conference will be published as a number in British Archaeological Reports, Oxford. Each written presentation was not to exceed ten pages (6,000 words) together with illustrations. The conveners of the symposium will review all manuscripts prior to publication. Additional information may be obtained from the conference website The program and abstracts were made available on a website during the conference so that speakers could entertain questions from cyberspace as well as in person at the symposium:

Two papers presented in the session on Biomaterials on 27 April, were of particular interest to ceramic archaeologists: "The Use of Stable Carbon Isotopes in the Identification of Dairy Products in Archaeological Ceramics" (S. N. Dudd and R. P. Evershed) and "Lipids in Ancient Ceramics" Patterns and Processes" (R. J. Stacey, C. P. Heron, O. E. Craig, et al). Twelve presentations in the sessions on Provenance focussed on ceramic materials: "Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis and Eastern Terra Sigillata II Pottery Revisited" (J. Gunneweg and M. Balla), "Technology and Organization of Inka Pottery Production: Neutron Activation Analysis and Mossbauer Spectroscopy Studies" (F. Hayashida, M. Glascock, H. Neff, et al.), "Pottery Production and Exchange in Eleusis Greece, during the Middle Helladic Period" (E. W. Faber, V. Kilikoglou, E. Kiriatzi, et al.), "Ceramic Micropaleontology: Potentials and Limitations of Micro- and Nanno-foil Analysis in Archaeological Ceramics" (P. S. Quinn, P. M. Day, and N. M. Hine), "Identification and Characterisation of Local Pottery Production Sites in Southern Italy by a Combination of Thin-Section and Heavy Mineral Analysis" (R. Sauer, V. Gassner, and H. Haiden), "A Multidisciplinay Study on Ancient Iznik Ceramics" (E. Uzgil, G Saglamer, A. Tekin, et al.), " The Earliest Carbon Fibre Was Discovered in Chinese Black Pottery" (Ch. Wang, X. Chen, and Zh. Liang), "Some Results of [a] Study of Cucuteni-Tripolye Decoration Technic [sic.]" (I. Palagutta), "Technical Investigation of Ptolemaic Period Faience in the Walters Art Gallery" (Y. Mao), "The Technology and Development of 12th Century AD Islamic Polychrome Ceramics" (M. S. Tite and R. B. Mason), "EDXRF Study of Tupiguarani Archaeological Ceramics from the North of Parana State in Brasil" (C. R. Appoloni, F. R. Espinosa-Quinones, P. H. Aragao et al.), and "New Developments in the Analysis of Archaeological Ceramics by Total Reflection X-ray Fluorescence /TXRF" (M. Garcia-Heras and R. Fernandez-Ruiz).

For additional information about the symposium, contact Katalin T. Biro, Hungarian National Museum, Department of Information, H-1450 Budapest Pf. 114. Hungary; Telephone/FAX: (36)-1-2101-338; e-mail:

Central and Inner Asian Seminar

The University of Toronto was the location of a conference, "Central and Inner Asian Seminar," held 1-2 May 1998, which featured 14 papers. Among the presentations was "The Material Culture of the Nomadic Uighurs of Central Asia in the 8th and 9th Centuries" by Dr. Ablet Kaayumovich Kamalov (Chairman, Department of Uighir History, Almaty, Kazakhstan). His paper concerned Uighur and Kyrgyz ceramics.

Material Thought and Action

A conference entitled "Material Thought and Action: Technological Perspectives on Prehistory," held in honor of Maxine Kleindienst and H. Bruce Schroeder, took place at University College, University of Toronto, 16-17 May 1998. Twenty-four papers were presented at this meeting which was sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and supported by a grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council. A majority of the presentations involved lithic technologies, Levantine prehistory, and the Dakhleh Oasis Project. On Sunday afternoon, 17 May, a session entitled "The Origins of Agriculture in Southwest Asia" included two presentations with ceramic orientations: "Container Technology in the Near Eastern Neolithic: A Design Approach to the Origins of Pottery" (E. B. Banning) and "Clay, Grain, and Rats: Motivation for the Specialization of Chalcolithic Potters" (Mark Blackham). Additional information about the conference may be obtained from Michael Chazan, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto, by telephone 416/978-2199 or e-mail: