"Aimers has brought together leading Maya ceramicists who provide their candid views on how they classify pottery. This volume is of particular theoretical strength for the discussion on terminology in classification, both for critically evaluating the type-variety system and for general classification of pottery."--Heather McKillop, author of Salt
"At last, we have the opportunity to learn the potential strengths as well as the pitfalls of a single method for the study of the prehistoric Maya."--Fred Valdez Jr., coeditor of Ancient Maya Commoners
"An intriguing journey through an analytical technique that is foundational to building deep and complex histories yet is deployed with a flexibility that some accept and others question."--Patricia A. McAnany, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
"Aimers has pulled together a series of theoretical, methodological, and substantive papers by prominent Maya ceramicists that evaluate the development, current utility, and limitations of the type-variety method."--E. Wyllys Andrews, Tulane University
The ancient Maya produced a broad range of ceramics that has attracted concerted scholarly attention for over a century. Pottery sherds--the most abundant artifacts recovered from sites--reveal much about artistic expression, religious ritual, economic systems, cooking traditions, and cultural exchange in Maya society.
Today, nearly every Maya archaeologist uses the type-variety classificatory framework for studying sherd collections. This impressive volume brings together many of the archaeologists signally involved in the analysis and interpretation of ancient Maya ceramics and represents new findings and state-of-the-art thinking. The result is a book that serves both as a valuable resource for archaeologists involved in pottery classification, analysis, and interpretation and as an illuminating exploration of ancient Mayan culture.
James Aimers, associate professor of anthropology at the State University of New York, Geneseo, is author of Cultural Change on a Temporal and Spatial Frontier.
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Another worthy addition to the Maya Studies series, I recommend Ancient Maya Pottery to ceramics and Maya archaeologists.
--Latin American Antiquity
Leaves one with a profound sense of how the t-v-w analysis can be combined with innovative approaches such as technological style, context analysis, practice theory, and a multiplicity of physical science methods that can provide a deeper understanding of ancient Maya culture and society… other areas of the world can benefit from the kind of reflexivity and thoughtfulness about ceramics analysis found in this volume.
--Journal of Anthropological Research
The volume is a significant contribution to the study of ancient Maya ceramics and provides new research results and state-of-the-art thinking. It serves as a valuable resource for archaeologists involved in pottery classification, analysis, and interpretation, and explores Mayan culture interactions.
--Newsletter of the Society for Archaeological Sciences
The reader is reminded of the necessity of considering ceramic objects through multiple lenses, including those of production, functional usage, decoration, life history (e.g., movement, fragmentation), and change over time through a comparative or diachronic view.
--Reviews in Anthropology
Attest[s] to the richness and diversity of contemporary research on the pre-Hispanic Maya and their Mayan-speaking but somewhat distant neighbors, the people of the Huasteca region.
--Latin American Research Review