Ceramic Technology and Production

Prudence M. Rice

in The Oxford Handbook of Mesoamerican Archaeology

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780195390933
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Ceramic Technology and Production

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  • Industrial Archaeology



This article discusses Mesoamerican ceramic technology and production. Some of the most beautiful art objects of the ancient Western Hemisphere were created by Mesoamerican potters. Meticulously painted in multiple colors (“polychrome”), sometimes with delicately rendered, lifelike human figures, this pottery was nonetheless produced by simple technologies. Prehispanic Mesoamerican ceramics are best described as terra cotta or earthenware: generally low-fired and porous, unvitrified, and unglazed. Potters formed vessels without the use of a wheel and fired them, for the most part, in the absence of formal kiln structures.

Keywords: Mesoamerica; pottery; making; ceramics; terra cotta

Article.  3073 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology by Region ; Industrial Archaeology

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