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June 20, 2014 By Andy Ross

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Pots as signals

That somewhat strange title is the heading for a fascinating article courtesy of www.academia.edu, an academic resource which frequently posts about interesting research and findings.

This publication is all about the transportation of ceramics, pots and the like, across long distances in places like Mesoamerica. Why would people take ceramics so far and, even more interestingly, how did the different peoples exchange their messages across these borders?

The paper, by Hector Neff from California State University, is full of ideas about the cost of exchanging ceramics, the fact that people can copy pots which makes the exchanges of such items short-lived or causes the makers to create finer and finer ceramicware so that it is hard to copy, and even makes a case for the why the designs of pots evolved and changed. I am looking forward to reading it again and learning more from our ancestral craftsmen.