Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The process behind form and decoration: Defining North Coast ceramic technological style, Peru
by Sidoroff, Maria-Louise, Ph.D., Union Institute and University, 2005, 345; 3256212
Abstract (Summary)

An interdisciplinary investigation of the technology of a select group of Cupisnique, Salinar, and provincial Inka ceramics from Farfán, in the Jequetepeque Valley, Peru, identifies the elements of a North Coast technological style in ceramic manufacture. Through multiple lines of evidence the processes of ceramic manufacture from two periods widely separated in time are examined. Prior archaeological research about ceramic technology is integrated with results from thin section analysis of local raw materials and archaeological ceramics, and data from ethnoarchaeological research. Interpretation of the evidence indicates that while the appearances of the ceramics change, the persistent patterns in the technological operations in ceramic manufacture that remained the same through time are identified as a North Coast ceramic technological style. The elements of the technological style are defined as an inferred use of local raw materials, the primacy of mold forming, manipulation of the natural characteristics of clay for surface decorations, a preference for three dimensional representation, and the persistent use of pits for firing pottery with dung and algorrobo fuel. With the exception of the innovation of forming with molds, continuity is seen in a North Coast technological repertoire that was nearly fully developed during the Cupisnique and Salinar periods. Technological change in Inka provincial style ceramics appears only in the choice and preparation of raw materials while all other elements of the manufacturing sequence, such as techniques of forming, decorating and firing, have their origins in prior North Coast ceramic traditions. The technological style embodies a cohesive tradition that guarantees success, reinforces cooperative bonds, symbolizes ethnic identity, and is an expression of potters' values. The future research suggested in this study points to investigation of raw materials from other valleys, comparative analysis of thin sections of prehistoric and modern vessels, and experimental projects for data about forming and firing prehistoric ceramics.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fritz, H. Ira
Commitee:
School: Union Institute and University
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 68/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Archaeology
Keywords: Ceramic, Decoration, North Coast, Peru, Technological style
Publication Number: 3256212
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