Pottery, practice, and place: A communities of practice approach to commoner interaction in the Late to Terminal Classic Belize River Valley

Jillian M. Jordan, Julie A. Hoggarth, Jaime J. Awe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Non-elite populations in the Maya lowlands interacted with one another across spatial boundaries. However, documenting this interaction at the local level is difficult because households are often constructed of similar materials and contain a similar suite of locally produced artifacts. This paper focuses on stylistic and technological analysis of pottery from Late to Terminal Classic (600–900 CE) Baking Pot in the Belize River Valley to reconstruct interaction networks among non-elite potters within the communities of practice theoretical framework. Our data suggests that most potters conceived of and engaged with the landscape in a similar fashion and created technologically and morphologically similar ceramic vessels. While shared technological traditions certainly suggests some form of information exchange among potters, there is enough variability in paste recipe to argue against a single community of practice. Potters living across the region were part of a constellation of practice. They are linked by practice through a shared taskscape in which habitation, farming, and resource acquisition occurred in similar locations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101148
JournalJournal of Anthropological Archaeology
Volume58
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Ceramic petrography
  • Communities of practice
  • Constellations of practice
  • Interaction
  • Maya lowlands

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Archaeology

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