Monday, February 2, 2015

The Science of Pottery Lecture Series

Pueblo Grande Museum is hosting a lecture series, The Science of Pottery: Archaeological Research and Modern Examples during the months of February and March as part of the 4th Annual Arizona Scitech Festival and the Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month. Join us for one or all of our lectures discussing Hohokam pottery and other prehistoric ceramic topics of the Southwest. Lectures are every Friday, from noon to 1 p.m., free, and open to the public. 

February 6
Art and Technology of Hopi Yellow Ware Pottery
Speaker: Kelley Hays-Gilpin, Professor and Chair of Anthropology, Northern Arizona University and Curator of Anthropology, Museum of Northern Arizona

We will trace the development of Hopi Yellow Ware pottery from about AD 1300 to the present. In about 1300, potters on the Hopi Mesas developed a remarkable and distinctive pottery technology based on high-quality clays and coal firing. By 1375, craft specialists had developed complicated vessel forms and intricate styles of painting, including animal effigy forms. Hopi artists continue this tradition today with both continuities to the past and innovative new forms and styles.

February 13
Mimbres Black-on-white Pottery, Scarlet Macaws, and the Hero Twins
Speaker: Patricia A. Gilman, Ph.D.

While archaeologists and others have thought that the Mimbres black-on-white pottery designs of people and animals were simply representational images from everyday life, my co-researchers, Marc Thompson and Kristina Wyckoff, and I suggest that many of the pictures show the births, adventures, and deaths of the Hero Twins, mythical beings who are part of the creation story common in Mesoamerica.

February 20
The Process of Making Pottery
Speakers: Ron Carlos, Pima Maricopa Potter and Jacob Butler, Onk Akimel O’Odham Artist

Jacob Butler and Ron Carlos will discuss the many facets of the pottery making process; from location of clay sources, processing of the raw clay to pottery forming, painting and finally the firing process. Ron Carlos will give a small demonstration of the paddle and anvil technique, which is a style of pottery making indicative of many of the southern Arizona tribes.

February 27
New Perspectives on the Organization of the Hohokam Economy
Speakers: David R. Abbott, Associate Professor, Arizona State University, and Joshua Watts, Postdoctoral Researcher, Arizona State University 

Studying how early market-based economies developed is incredibly important for understanding the origins of a process that has come to dominate modern economies around the world. Because archaeological data on early markets are scarce and difficult to interpret, archaeologists have been forced to adopt new analytical approaches. The presentation will focus on ways Abbott and Watts have worked to integrate traditional ceramic analyses with innovative petrographic and chemical techniques, and have adopted computational agent-based modeling methods to offer new perspectives on the organization of Hohokam pottery production and distribution in the Phoenix Basin.

March 6
Tucson Basin Hohokam Ceramics
Speaker: William L. Deaver, MA, RPA., Senior Archaeologist, WestLand Resources, Inc.

The Tucson Basin is one of the few localities outside the middle Gila River valley where a robust painted pottery tradition developed and persisted. The painted pottery exhibits strong influences from Hohokam potters working in the middle Gila River. This pictorial review of the Tucson Basin pottery tradition reveals the strong influences of middle Gila River potters, emphasizing characteristics within the Tucson Basin pottery tradition that project a unique identity, and relationships with Hohokam peoples and neighbors in adjoining river valleys.

March 13
The Role of Consumers in the Stylistic Development of Red-on-buff Pottery
Speaker: Andrew Lack, MA, Ph.D.

This lecture discusses recent research on the social aspects of stylistic variation in Hohokam Red-on-buff pottery in the Phoenix Basin between A.D. 750 and 1300; specifically, whether or not the variation between buff ware production groups was influenced by buff ware consumers. These issues are important, first, because of the information they provide on the role that buff ware potters played in their larger socio-economic environment. Second, because they shed light on such aspects as the specialization, interconnection, integration, and social conformity that characterized Hohokam society to varying degrees over the centuries.

March 20
The Development and Evolution of Domestic Pottery in Arizona
Speaker: Christopher Garraty, Ph.D., RPA, Research Director for Cultural Resources at Logan Simpson Design Inc., President of Arizona Archaeological Council

This talk focuses on the development of ceramic container technology for everyday domestic use in prehistoric southern and central Arizona. Simple pots were made as early as 2100 B.C. by mobile hunter-gatherers in the Tucson Basin, but these early vessels appear to have been used sparingly and for ritual purposes. Analyses of early pottery indicate a trend of increasing popularity and use for a growing number of domestic tasks and functions. Garraty discusses and explains several competing hypotheses for the origins of pottery and highlights the argument that best fits the available evidence. 

March 27
Ceramic Evidence of Prehistoric Long Distance Interactions: Intrusive Ceramics from Pueblo Grande
Speakers: Laurene Montero, MA and Todd W. Bostwick, Ph.D., RPA

Collections of non-local ceramics indicate the Pueblo Grande Hohokam maintained widespread spheres of interaction, from southern Utah and Colorado to northern Mexico.  In this presentation we examine ware distributions of intrusive ceramics collected at Pueblo Grande from depression-era archaeology in the 1930s up to excavations conducted by museum staff in the 1980s. We also compare these data to intrusive ceramics collected from later excavations at Pueblo Grande as well as those from other Hohokam sites in the vicinity. 

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