Archaeometry of Pre-Columbian Sites and Artifacts by David Scott, Pieter Meyers

By David Scott, Pieter Meyers

Archaeometry is the applying of clinical tools and analyses to the learn of tradition in its archaeological context. Garnered from a convention referred to as to check the fabric tradition from North and South the United States, the book's twenty essays on a large variety of matters symbolize the whole scope of research during this box. They contain papers by means of Ron L. Bishop at the compositional research of pre-Columbian pottery from the Maya quarter, Heather Lechtman at the fabrics technological know-how of fabric tradition from the Andes, and J. Michael Elam and others on resource id and hydration courting of obsidian artifacts

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The elaborate incense burner stands were pro- 32 P R E - C O L U M B I AN P OTTERY FIGURE 1 2. 4 Discriminant analysis plot showing Palenque reference 3 - groups 1 and 2 and one group from sites along the Rio Michol to ,o• A •0 oo 2 - the west ofPalenque. Separate symbols have been assigned to the Otolum wide everted-rim form to call attention to its sources ofpro­ duction at Palenque and also in the west. One specimen with a western site provenience can be seen at the upper right of the plot in the Palenque 1 cluster, signify­ ing production at Palenque with movement to a western site, where it was archaeologically recovered.

The work, however, was demanding and slow. After being exposed to the potential of petrographic examination during the visit of geol­ ogist Arthur Cole Spenser to the Mimbres excavations, the program of chemical analysis was halted, and Shepard proceeded to embark on a professional career that P R E - C O L U M B I A N POTTERY would be noted for the use of petrographic analysis, diligent examinations, and a cautious approach to reporting analytical data (R. H. Thompson 1 9 9 1 ; Bishop 1 991). For Shepard, chemistry remained primarily as a means of determining the com­ position of glazes or paints (Shepard 1 968:145).

This has led to several consequences: ( 1 ) newly analyzed samples will belong to groups already defined, thereby increasing the accuracy of the group characterization; (2) new analyses will increase numerically the pottery belonging to previously represented but unrecog­ nized groups so that grouping tendencies will be seen; (3) new analyses will contain sufficient numbers of samples to constitute observable groups, members of which 20 P R E - C O L U M B I A N POTTERY were not previously analyzed; (4) new analyses, and perhaps previous analyses, will not show any archaeologically significant tendency to form groups.

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