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Maya Potters' Indigenous Knowledge


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About the Author

Dean E. Arnold is adjunct curator of anthropology at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and professor emeritus of anthropology at Wheaton College in Illinois. He has taught anthropology for forty-three years; done field work in Peru, Mexico, Bolivia, Guatemala, and the Southwest; and published four books, including the seminal Ceramic Theory and Cultural Process, and more than sixty articles about potters, pottery, and pottery production and related subjects (such as Maya Blue). Arnold was a Fulbright Scholar in Mexico and Peru, a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall at University of Cambridge in 1985, and a Visiting Scholar at the Department of Archaeology there in 1985, 1992, and 2000. He received the Society for American Archaeology's Award for Excellence in Ceramic Studies in 1996. In 2003, he received the Charles R. Jenkins Award for Distinguished Achievement from the National Executive Council of Lambda Alpha (the National Collegiate Honor Society for Anthropology). He received the Wheaton College Senior Faculty Scholarship Achievement Award in 2001 and the Wheaton College Alumni Association Award for Distinguished Service to Alma Mater in 2008.


"[Maya Potters' Indigenous Knowledge] adds significantly to an important body of work."
--David Frankel, La Trobe University

"A very refreshing look at the nature of Maya pottery production. . . . it will open the eyes of many researchers to the depth of indigenous knowledge on pottery production and to a new way of thinking about the relationship between the potter and his/her raw materials."
--Michael Deal, Memorial University

"Studies like this are very important indeed. Arnold's research is aimed at bridging the gap between static archaeological phenomena and the dynamic social, cultural, and cognitive aspects of behavior. The end result is a bridging argument or middle-range research that sometimes is the only way to understand the complex relationship between the fragments of matter that make up the archaeological record and the human behavior behind this material record."
--Eduardo Williams, El Colegio de Michoac n
"[Arnold] is the world's most prolific and accomplished scholar of ceramic ethnoarchaeology. . . . Most useful to those deeply involved in the ethnographic study of craft production and to archaeologists focused on ceramics."
"There is much food for thought in this new book that archaeologists should consider in evaluating their own data. . . .The result of this volume is that Arnold has created a new way of thinking. . . .This is a cogent, thought-provoking book with compelling data and persuasive arguments, and belongs on any anthropologist's bookshelf. "

--SAS Bulletin

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