Ceramics and Man

Ceramics and Man

Ceramics and Man

Ceramics and Man


The plans for the symposium "Ceramics and Man" developed in conversations with Dr.Paul Fejos in the months following the stimulating 1959 conference on "The Application of Quantitative Methods in Archaeology" which was organized by Drs.R. F. Heizer andS. F. Cook.The purpose of the proposed meetings, as formulated by March, 1960, was "To evaluate the contribution of ceramic studies to archaeological and ethnological research." This was to be accomplished by:

1. Bringing together, with ceramics as the focal point of discussion, archeologists and ethnologists with special skills and detailed regional knowledge.

2. Trying to achieve through them some interpretative cross-fertilization. Often scholars obtain useful perspectives that enhance their own work by learning in detail and discussing some of the processes and social factors involved in ceramic work, ancient and contemporary, in geographic areas unfamiliar to them.

3. Attempting a critical stocktaking of ceramic contributions to archeological and ethnological research.

A list of suggestive topics was prepared to indicate the nature of the problems that might be considered in the preparation of papers for the conference. It was recognized that in the ultimate publication—this book—the original plans would be significantly altered because of the specific contributions made by the participants in the symposium and the nature of the discussions at Burg Wartenstein.

It was found best to limit the discussion of ceramics in this symposium to unglazed pottery, which constitutes the most abundant and useful portion of the ceramic spectrum in anthropological studies. Glazes, glasses, enamels, brick, faience, fritted pigments, cements, and plasters were regretfully excluded.

A preliminary Planning Conference was held at the New York headquarters of the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research on the afternoon of March 3, 1961. Twenty-five people attended this meeting at the invitation of Dr. Fejos. The date was selected to coincide with that of the Foundation's banquet at which the Viking Fund medals were awarded, so as to take advantage of the presence in New York of scholars who might not otherwise have been able to participate in the discussions. The list of participants in the Planning Conference, together with Dr.Rouse's summary comments presented at Burg Wartenstein, are included in the next to last chapter of this volume. A transcription of the Planning Conference discussions was sent to all members of the symposium at the time that their preprinted papers were distributed early in the summer.

Seventeen archeologists and ethnologists representing ceramic interests and experience in several parts of the world were invited to participate in the symposium on "Ceramics and Man" at Burg Wartenstein.At the last moment Dr.Zaky Iskander was unfortunately unable to attend because of archeological problems . . .

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