© 1991

Approaches to Archaeological Ceramics


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Carla M. Sinopoli
    Pages 1-7
  3. Carla M. Sinopoli
    Pages 9-42
  4. Carla M. Sinopoli
    Pages 43-67
  5. Carla M. Sinopoli
    Pages 69-81
  6. Carla M. Sinopoli
    Pages 83-117
  7. Carla M. Sinopoli
    Pages 119-142
  8. Carla M. Sinopoli
    Pages 143-160
  9. Carla M. Sinopoli
    Pages 161-170
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 171-237

About this book


More than any other category of evidence, ceramics ofters archaeologists their most abundant and potentially enlightening source of information on the past. Being made primarily of day, a relatively inexpensive material that is available in every region, ceramics became essential in virtually every society in the world during the past ten thousand years. The straightfor­ ward technology of preparing, forming, and firing day into hard, durable shapes has meant that societies at various levels of complexity have come to rely on it for a wide variety of tasks. Ceramic vessels quickly became essential for many household and productive tasks. Food preparation, cooking, and storage-the very basis of settled village life-could not exist as we know them without the use of ceramic vessels. Often these vessels broke into pieces, but the virtually indestructible quality of the ceramic material itself meant that these pieces would be preserved for centuries, waiting to be recovered by modem archaeologists. The ability to create ceramic material with diverse physical properties, to form vessels into so many different shapes, and to decorate them in limitless manners, led to their use in far more than utilitarian contexts. Some vessels were especially made to be used in trade, manufacturing activities, or rituals, while ceramic material was also used to make other items such as figurines, models, and architectural ornaments.


archaeological ceramics ceramic ceramic arts ceramic ethnoarchaeology ceramic production ceramic use ceramics ethnographic data

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Approaches to Archaeological Ceramics
  • Authors Carla M. Sinopoli
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag US 1991
  • Publisher Name Springer, Boston, MA
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-306-43852-3
  • Softcover ISBN 978-0-306-43575-1
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-4757-9274-4
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIV, 238
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Archaeology
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


`Approaches to Archaeological Ceramics will serve well as the basic text in an introductory course on archaeological ceramics...the book is well-written and highly readable.'
American Antiquity

`This thorough, up-to-date text that leads the student from the making of pots on to chronology building, the interpretation of function and style, and the practical mechanics of quantitative analysis. The book is at once an accessible introduction for all students and a comprehensive guide to the more technical literature.'
Stephen A. Kowalewski, University of Georgia