Friday, April 27, 2012

GlobalPottery Conference

The Utah Pottery Project has been quiet for a while!  I've had other funded research and obligations mentoring graduate and undergraduate students.  Things have started to percolate again, however, so more may be forthcoming this summer!

Meanwhile, I am excited to attend next week's GlobalPottery conference. The meeting is subtitled the First International Congress on Historical Archaeology & Archaeometry for Societies in Contact.

For more than a decade, my colleagues and I have been talking about the growing interest in applying the tools of materials science and archaeometry to examine the global flows of pottery in the early modern and modern worlds.  We spoke about a number of challenges--the scale of the research area, the size of a database necessary to make meaningful statistical arguments, the movement of raw materials and skilled workers within and between geographic regions, the hesitancy to emphasize the value of scientific analysis vs. interpretive practice in American historical archaeology, and the reluctance of anyone to systematically dedicate real-dollar funds to support an overwhelmingly global scientific effort.

After so many years, we are finally going to gather and talk about the issues and perhaps develop a plan.  There has been a clear florescence of research in this area.  If you look at the scholars scheduled to present their work, and the content of their presentations, I think you'll agree that this will be an exciting meeting!

I am honored to participate and gratefully thank the Department of Social Sciences at Michigan Technological University. My department provided some of the financial support I needed to attend the meeting and speak about the Utah Pottery Project.

You can review the Congress program and speakers here: