Faculty Publications

Title

Mortal pots: On use life and vessel size in the formation of ceramic assemblages

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American Antiquity

Volume

61

Issue

3

First Page

463

Last Page

482

Abstract

We know a great deal about how prehistoric pots were made and used but surprisingly little about how long they lasted in service. Vessel use life, however, is an important component of ceramic assemblage formation. A growing body of ethnoarchaeological data shows that the directly measurable "primitive property" of vessel size - in its various dimensions - is positively related to use life and that height and weight are the most reliable predictors of use life. Results offer the provisional prospect of estimating use life of archaeological vessels from their size. Copyright © by the Society for American Archaeology.

Original Publication Date

1-1-1996

DOI of published version

10.2307/281835

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