Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Findings From Fragments

Arizona Scitech Festival Lecture SeriesFindings from Fragments:
Archaeological Discoveries Through Pottery

As part of the 7th Annual Arizona Scitech Festival, Pueblo Grande Museum will be hosting Findings from Fragments: Archaeological Discoveries Through Pottery, a free lecture 
series presented each Friday in February at noon. These 45-minute lunch time lectures are open to the public and compliment PGM's newest exhibit, Fragments: Broken Bowls Tell More Tales. Explore the science of pottery production and archaeological research done on pottery sherds to reconstruct history and form new ideas on prehistoric cultures and traditions during these presentations. 

This lecture series is sponsored in part by the Phoenix Chapter of the Arizona Archaeology Society, the Arizona Archaeological Council, and the Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary.

February 2, 2018
Artificial Intelligence and the Classification of Ancient Southwestern Pottery
Speakers: Chris Downum, Professor of Anthropology at Northern Arizona & Leszek Pawlowicz, Associate Practitioner in the Department of Anthropology at Northern Arizona 

Are machines (computers that can analyze digital images of pottery) potentially more reliable than humans when it comes to identifying ceramic types? Explore the answer with Downum and Pawlowicz as they present results of recent experiments evaluating the utility of deep learning / artificial intelligence to the classification of ancient decorated pottery fragments from Northern Arizona.  

February 9, 2018
Sherds and Social Boundaries in Central Arizona
Speaker: Chris Watkins, Senior Archaeologist, North Wind Resource Consulting

How did people accustomed to living in small communities get along in larger populations? Were settlements friendly with one another? How did they avoid conflicts? People who think of themselves as part of the same social groups, that also know each other well, tend to cooperate and form long-lasting peaceful alliances. Sherds can help determine which people maintained close social relationships, and whether groups shared common identities such as a religion.  Watkins addresses these question by specifically discussing sherds and social boundaries from 14th century central Arizona, including Perry Mesa and the Verde Valley.

February 16, 2018
Paddle and Anvil Pottery Production
Speakers: Ron Carlos, Maricopa Potter and Jacob Butler, Onk Akimel O’Odham Artist

In this presentation, Jacob Butler will discuss the different tools and methods used in the production of paddle and anvil pottery. From sourcing and processing the clay, to forming, painting, and firing the pottery This style of pottery making is unique and indicative of the southern Arizona tribes; i.e. Maricopa, Pima, Tohono O'Odham. Ron Carlos will demonstrate the use of the pottery tools while he creates a small clay pot during the presentation. All of Jacob and Ron's pottery is constructed from all natural materials. The clays and pigments are hand dug and hand processed into a workable paste. They will also talk about how the vessels are wood fired in an open pit using mesquite and/or cottonwood bark.

February 23, 2018
The Origins of Pottery in Arizona
Speaker: Chris Garraty, Assistant Director of Cultural Resources at Logan Simpson  

The archaeological study of ceramic fragments provides a wealth of information about the lives of ancient people in Arizona. From customs, technologies, and food preferences, to artisan crafting practices, gender roles, and patterns of exchange, to views of religion, cosmologies, and many other important topics. Garraty discusses the results from recent archaeological studies of ceramic fragments that highlight the origins of pottery and ceramic technology in Arizona.

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