Historic Ceramics Identification
Accurate identification of ceramic types is foundational to historical archaeology, given the ubiquity of ceramics on sites and the importance of ceramic change over time for establishing site chronology. There are a variety of different approaches to identification, emphasizing origin, decoration, or production method. This seminar will use a technology-based approach, teaching how to identify how an object was made, given the strong relationships between manufacture, and geographic and temporal variation. The seminar will cover the 4 main ceramic materials (coarse earthenware, refined earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain), outline the characteristics of the primary manufacturing techniques, and discuss broad trends in decorative motifs/techniques. This approach will provide participants with a toolkit for identifying wares they may encounter, based on key diagnostic features.