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Rethinking cultural hybridity and technology transfer: SEM microstructural analysis of lead glazed ceramics from early colonial Peru

VanValkenburgh, P; Kelloway, SJ; Privat, KL; Sillar, B; Quilter, J; (2017) Rethinking cultural hybridity and technology transfer: SEM microstructural analysis of lead glazed ceramics from early colonial Peru. Journal of Archaeological Science , 82 pp. 17-30. 10.1016/j.jas.2017.04.007. Green open access

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Abstract

Through Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) microstructural analysis, we examine the firing technology of Early Green Glazed (EGG) Ware – a variety of “hybrid” lead-glazed ceramics produced in Peru's north coast region during the 16th century CE. Previous scholars have interpreted EGG Ware as the product of indigenous potters who fired ceramics in kilns and learned how to make glazed vessels through direct instruction from Iberian ceramicists. We argue that the production of EGG Ware entailed a more complex process of technological incorporation and innovation. SEM microstructural analysis of 44 archaeological samples suggests that these ceramics were originally fired under highly variable conditions. Parallel analysis of five samples of lead-glazed ceramics produced in open firings by Peruvian artisans in the 1980's reveals consistent firing beyond their clays' maturation temperatures. Based on these results and analysis of whole EGG Ware vessels from museum collections, we suggest that at least some of our EGG Ware samples were produced in open firings. In turn, we argue that EGG Ware reflects the creativity of native potters who adapted indigenous firing technologies and experimented with different parameters in the process of forging a new decorative tradition.

Type: Article
Title: Rethinking cultural hybridity and technology transfer: SEM microstructural analysis of lead glazed ceramics from early colonial Peru
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2017.04.007
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2017.04.007
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Ceramic firing technology; Technology transfer; Cultural hybridity; Scanning electron microscopy (SEM); Lead glaze; Refiring; Spanish colonial period; Peru
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1558997
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