Where: Lawrence Hall 249
Archaeologists study ancient pottery for diverse reasons, ranging from the use of stylistic and technological changes for dating sites, examinations of daily life through the functions of vessels, to even assessments of different cultural views of aesthetics. This talk introduces recent research on pottery at the ancient village of Kirikongo in Burkina Faso West Africa. At Kirikongo, potting began as a household activity and over the course of the first millennium CE, elaborate decoration traditions developed that signified household identities. During the early second millennium CE, a period of dramatic political and social changes, potting became a specialized practice where a small group of artisans produced pottery in a new, unified style that was utilized/consumed by all households. In examining this transition, this talk will explore the ways artistic yet utilitarian objects both influenced and effected societal transformation.