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The Production and Distribution of Classic Mimbres Black-on-White Pottery

  • Patricia A. Gilman (a1), Veletta Canouts (a2) and Ronald L. Bishop (a3)
Abstract

Because the most abundant and finest quality Classic Mimbres Black-on-white ceramics are associated with large pueblos located in the Mimbres Valley, archaeologists have subscribed to a center-periphery model of exchange to explain the occurrence of these ceramics outside of the “heartland.” Recent instrumental neutron-activation analysis based on 117 samples from six sites and supported by petrographic analyses demonstrates that separable production groups can be distinguished outside of, as well as within, the valley proper. Widely distributed production locales do not support a model of centralized control over production and distribution. The analyses thus raise questions about the purposes of such visually distinct pottery and the nature of its exchange.

Resumen

Debido a que la mayoría de cerámica Mimbres Negro sobre Blanco de mejor calidad está asociada con grandes pueblos localizados en el valle Mimbres, varios arqueólogos han sugerido un modelo de intercambio de centro-periferia para explicar la ocurrencia de esta cerámica fuera del “área epónima.” El reciente análisis cerámico por activación neutrónica realizado en 117 muestras provenientes de seis sitios y reforzado con análisis petrográfico, demuestra que existen grupos distintivos de producción cerámica tanto fuera como dentro del valle Mimbres. Locales de producción que se hallan ampliamente distribuidos no apoyan el modelo de un control centralizado sobre la producción y distribución cerámica. Estos análisis, por lo tanto, elevan preguntas sobre el propósito de la producción de cerámica tan distintiva visualmente y de la naturaleza de su intercambio.

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References
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American Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0002-7316
  • EISSN: 2325-5064
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