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Late Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherer Ceramic Production and Distribution

Mine wash

Temporal and spatial patterns in the production and distribution of ceramics by hunter-gatherer societies of eastern San Diego County

This project builds upon currently incomplete information about temporal and spatial patterns in the production and distribution of ceramics by hunter-gatherer societies of eastern San Diego County.

Plainware ceramics represent one of the most abundant artefact types at archaeological sites in this region. The recent application of thin section petrographic analysis to these homogeneous sherds (Quinn and Burton, 2009) has highlighted their untapped potential as cultural indicators of the people that made and used them in the past.

The project adopts this scientific approach to the study of a single dated, excavated assemblage from a seasonal occupation site in the center of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (CA-SDI-813). Petrographic and geochemical data is being interpreted within the framework of an existing compositional database and conventional archaeological information to address issues of migration, trade, cultural interaction, resource exploitation, craft practice and tradition, as well as the nature of activities at a single geographic locale.


Related outputs

This research is still in progress with a publication to be submitted to American Antiquity in due course.

  • Abstract submitted to European Meeting on Ancient Ceramics, Vienna, September 2011.
  • Quinn, P. S. and Burton, M. 2009. Ceramic Petrography and the Reconstruction of Hunter-Gatherer Craft Technology in Late Prehistoric Southern California. In: Quinn, P. S. (Ed.) Interpreting Silent Artefacts: Petrographic Approaches to Cultural Materials. Archaeopress: 267-295.

Funding

  • Begole Archaeological Research Grant, administered by Anza-Borrego Foundation

Project Leader:


Project Partners:

  • Margie Burton, San Diego Archaeological Center, California, USA.

Keywords:


Further information:


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