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. By grounding current research in the larger history of pottery and drawing together diverse approaches to the study of pottery, it offers a rich, comprehensive view of ceramic inquiry.
This new edition fully incorporates more than two decades of growth and diversification in the fields of archaeological and ethnographic 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 ethnographic and ethnoarchaeological 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. Intended for use in the classroom, the lab, and out in the field, this essential text offers an unparalleled basis for pottery research.
About the Author
Prudence M. Rice is professor of anthropology, associate vice chancellor for research, and director of the research development office at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.
“Although it is of special interest to archaeologists, Rice’s compendium is also directed toward a wider audience, including social, physical, and materials scientists. Her broad work provides both an introduction to the topic and an exceedingly valuable asset to the most advanced researcher. . . . Rice’s excellent volume is a true sourcebook and will serve as the standard for many years to come.” — On the first edition
“A highly ambitious, well-organized, encyclopedic reference manual conceived on a broad scale and provides a holistic coverage not found in any other volumes.” — On the first edition
“Rice has produced a magnificent synthesis that belongs on every archeologist's shelf. It is also an excellent textbook for students.” — On the first edition
“This is the book that all of us interested in ceramic analysis wish we had written. Rice has written a well-organized and comprehensive review of the breadth of research being done in the field of ancient ceramic technology and vessel function, from design analysis to the latest advances in provenience studies in a framework where understanding the potter and the potter's socioeconomic milieu is the paramount objective.” — On the first edition
“As a reference work about contemporary ceramic research, it can only be described in superlatives. Rice summarizes nearly everything happening in the study of ceramics today. Scholars and students alike will find something in the book related to their interest. . . . An important book.” — On the first edition