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Author Arthur, John W
Title Ceramic ethnoarchaeology among the Gamo of southwestern Ethiopia: A regional, social, and economic perspective
book jacket
Descript 322 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 61-08, Section: A, page: 3223
Chairman: Steven A. Brandt
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2000
Pottery is one of the most common materials found at archaeological sites within the Holocene period and because of its durability archaeologists use pottery as a means to understand human behavior. My research in a contemporary setting among the Gamo of southwestern Ethiopia provides a valuable resource for archaeologists, who have little information concerning how people living in an agrarian society interact with their utilitarian pottery. I spent two years working among the Gamo focusing on the procurement, production, use, reuse, and discard of pottery to understand how pottery relates to regional, social, and economic variability. The goal of this study is to help archaeologists better interpret the archaeological record by creating a model based on a living society, which explores the relationship between people and their pottery
The Gamo are an agrarian caste society who produce and use pottery for daily activities of cooking, serving, storing, and transporting water and a variety of foods. The study looks at the relationship between the different life cycle stages (i.e., procurement, production, distribution, use, reuse, and discard) of pottery within a household context. In addition, research issues concentrating on spatial analysis, use-alteration, population size, and uselife are explored through the regional, social, and economic conditions of Gamo society
My study indicates that ceramic variability does exist between regions, castes, and economic ranks throughout the entire life cycle and within the larger issues of space, population, and vessel uselife. The regional analyses indicated dramatic differences between pottery producing and non-pottery producing villages concerning how households obtain, use, mend, reuse, and discard their pottery, as well as how pottery correlates with population size, storage of vessels, and vessel longevity. The analyses concerning caste and economic wealth variability conclude that household pottery has great potential to for deciphering socioeconomic differences
The significance of this project is that it will allow archaeologists to move beyond common sense inferences about ceramics to those derived from detailed documentation in a living context. Finally, this ethnoarchaeological research will allow for global cross cultural comparisons and, more specifically, will aid researchers in interpreting regional, social, and economic variability at Ethiopian archaeological sites
School code: 0070
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 61-08A
Subject Anthropology, Archaeology
Anthropology, Cultural
Alt Author University of Florida
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