Patterns in Prehistory is a class predicated on exposing undergraduate students at the University of Arizona to a variety of traditions and cultures which existed throughout the course of human history (Professor: David Killick; TAs: Luke Kaiser; Saffo Papantonopoulou; Jay Stephens). As a part of our “introduction to technology” week, we took a trip to the Laboratory of Traditional Technology to introduce students to clay material, methods of forming clay into pottery, and how archaeologists analyze pottery. This included a hands on demonstration of the proper plasticity of clay; the effects of temper and particle size; how to pinch, coil, slab construct, and wheel throw pottery; and an explanation of the effects that firing temperature and atmosphere can have on this material. Further, the students were able to interact with archaeological ceramics in order to understand how prehistoric communities employed these concepts, and how archaeologists analyze ceramics in the field.
Text submitted by Jay Stephens