Pot Luck: Adventures in Archaeology

Pot Luck: Adventures in Archaeology

Pot Luck: Adventures in Archaeology

Pot Luck: Adventures in Archaeology

Synopsis

Husband and wife archaeologists Florence C. and Robert H. Lister and their two children traveled the archaeological world from 1940 to 1970. They produced numerous respected studies in the field of Southwestern archaeology and ceramics. Pot Luck, however, takes the Lister bibliography in a new direction. Written in the years following Robert Lister's death in 1990, Pot Luck describes professional archaeology in personal terms, offering lively portraits of premier archaeologists and archaeological expeditions alongside vignettes of the Lister children at play and the Lister marriage at work. Lister's view of the past is not rose-colored. She recalls an early advisor's suggestion that a woman marry an archaeologist if she wanted to pursue the profession. In addition to exciting moments of archaeological discovery, she tells of waiting out rainstorms on wet, muddy backroads; worrying that children might become ill far from medical care; and bartering with less-than-scrupulous archaeological traders.Pot Luck follows the Listers on expeditions in Mexico, the Middle East, Spain, and the Southwest.

Excerpt

In their foreword to Hidden Scholars: Women Anthropologists and the Native American Southwest, Nathalie and Richard Woodbury observe that in the past many women were "too often a part of the background of southwestern studies" and rarely gained the prominence of their male counterparts. Florence Lister always has been reticent to take her place among the women and men who have contributed to a better understanding of human history, but this book helps to set the record straight.

Though her contributions are reflected in a long string of books, monographs, and articles, this book differs from earlier works in two significant ways. First, she is the sole author, a role she would not have chosen, but which was caused by the untimely death of Bob, her cherished husband and long-time collaborator. Second, this is a "behind-the-scenes" book that not only gives the reader an understanding of scientific inquiry, but also a good sense of the serendipity that often characterizes good analytical research.

The book has other strong merits. Through a variety of exquisitely drawn vignettes, Florence ably conveys the importance of ceramic studies to anthropology. Her effectiveness in doing so comes from having been deeply involved in essentially every task associated with producing, using, and studying pottery. This is a woman who, among other things, has washed potsherds, analyzed paste and temper, thrown and fired pots, cooked frijoles in ollas, and compared notes on maiolica production centers with the small set of world experts on that subject (of which she is a leading member). She also rather effortlessly helps us to see how ceramics can serve as . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.