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New Article in Journal of Archaeological Science: Indigenous technologies and the production of early colonial ceramics in Dominican Republic

Carmen Ting, Jorge Ulloa Hung, Corinne L. Hofman, and Patrick Degryse will be publishing the article entitled 'Indigenous technologies and the production of early colonial ceramics in Dominican Republic' in the 17th volume of the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports in February 2018.


This study sought to investigate the extent and processes through which indigenous technologies were passed on in the production of indigenous pottery in the Greater Antilles, the Caribbean, during the early colonial period in the late 15th and early 16th centuries AD. We examined a selection of black wares and red wares recovered from an early colonial archaeological site of Pueblo Viejo de CotuĂ­, Dominican Republic. We devised an integrated approach, which combined anthropological theory of cultural transmission and archaeological science. Thin-section petrography was used to characterise five main aspects of the production of the ceramic assemblage, including raw materials selection, paste preparation, forming, surface finish, and firing methods. We then compared the results with the analyses we had previously conducted on the production of pre-colonial Meillacoid and Chicoid ceramics, which allowed us to delineate the extent and processes of technology transmission. Our findings reveal that indigenous technologies were neither fully replicated nor discontinued in the production of black wares and red wares at CotuĂ­ during the early colonial period. Instead, the producers of both black wares and red wares continued to use certain aspects of indigenous technologies, but each with varying extents. The black wares largely followed the local indigenous ways as expressed in the selection of local raw materials, low level of standardisation in paste preparation, the use of coiling and low firing temperatures. As for the red wares, it is certain that their production continued with the use of local raw materials and low firing temperatures, whereas it is possible that the use of grog temper and red slips also represents the transmission of indigenous technologies that were linked to roots other than the Meillac and Chican ceramics.

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