Author

Drake

Date of Award

6-2001

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Dr. Michael S. Nassaney

Second Advisor

Dr. Allen Zagarell

Third Advisor

Dr. William B. Harrison III

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

This thesis explores the social implications involved with the technological decision to use grog (crushed potsherds) as a ceramic tempering agent by potters affiliated with the Plum Bayou culture of central Arkansas. The analytical technique of point-counting ceramic thin sections is used to search for patterns of grog-temper use at a single Plum Bayou culture site, the Ink Bayou site (3PU252). While the thermal properties of grog-temper may help to explain the variability of use observed at the Ink Bayou site, the social implications of producing grog-tempered pots are best illuminated by the sequence of productive operations employed by the Ink Bayou potters themselves when constructing grog-tempered pots of the type, Baytown Plain. The results of this study suggest that the practice of constructing Baytown Plain ceramics constitutes a technically versatile, socially flexible, and easily taught ceramic technology.

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