"This is an outstanding volume that constitutes a major contribution not only to Maya research but to Mesoamerican studies as a whole. Written by a prominent anthropologist and specialist in the study of ceramics, it is remarkable for both the breadth and depth of its research. This book is an original contribution to the general field of cultural anthropology and, more specifically, to archaeology; one that deserves a place on the bookshelves of sociocultural anthropologists, archaeologists, and scholars in related fields, as well as all readers with an interest in the fascinating world of Maya culture, both ancient and modern."
—Eduardo Williams, Ph.D., El Colegio de Michoacán, Zamora, Mexico
"Once upon a time, anthropologists embraced the broad study of humankind in the past and present, not merely as a disciplinary stance, but personally in their own work. In his half-century learning about and from the potters of Ticul, Yucatán, Dean Arnold has transcended the growing divide between archaeology and sociocultural anthropology in ways that few can now claim. Meticulously documented and richly illustrated, The Evolution of Ceramic Production Organization in a Maya Community shows how decisions made by individuals and households in the historical context of changing economic and social conditions in Yucatán affected the intensity, organization, and spatial configuration of ceramic production. This book deserves a place next to Arnold's Social Change and the Evolution of Ceramic Production and Distribution in a Maya Community on the bookshelf of everyone who is seriously interested in how craft traditions originate, change, and are transmitted across generations."
—Christopher Pool, University of Kentucky
In The Evolution of Ceramic Production Organization in a Maya Community, Dean E. Arnold continues his unique approach to ceramic ethnoarchaeology, tracing the history of potters in Ticul, Yucatan, and their production space over a period of more than four decades. This follow-up to his 2008 work Social Change and the Evolution of Ceramic Production and Distribution uses narrative to trace the changes in production personnel and their spatial organization through the changes in production organization in Ticul.
Although several kinds of production units developed, households were the most persistent units of production in spite of massive social change and the reorientation of pottery production to the tourist market. Entrepreneurial workshops, government-sponsored workshops, and workshops attached to tourist hotels developed more recently but were short-lived, whereas pottery-making households extended deep into the nineteenth century. Through this continuity and change, intermittent crafting, multi-crafting, and potters' increased management of economic risk also factored into the development of the production organization in Ticul.
Illustrated with more than 100 images of production units, The Evolution of Ceramic Production Organization in a Maya Community is an important contribution to the understanding of ceramic production. Scholars with interests in craft specialization, craft production, and demography, as well as specialists in Mesoamerican archaeology, anthropology, history, and economy, will find this volume especially useful.