Just as a single pot starts with a lump of clay, the study of a piece's history must start with an understanding of its raw materials. This principle is the foundation of Pottery Analysis, the acclaimed sourcebook that has become the indispensable guide for archaeologists and anthropologists worldwide. This new edition fully incorporates more than two decades of growth and diversification in the fields of archaeological and ethgraphic study of pottery. It begins with a summary of the origins and history of pottery in different parts of the world, then examines the raw materials of pottery and their physical and chemical properties. It addresses ethgraphic and etharchaeological perspectives on pottery production; reviews the methods of studying pottery's physical, mechanical, thermal, mineralogical, and chemical properties; and discusses how proper analysis of artifacts can reveal insights into their culture of origin.
Prudence M. Rice is distinguished professor emerita in the Department of Anthropology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.