Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 25 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article focuses on the importance of ceramics in material cultural studies. It proceeds to say that ceramics are considered a key feature of human material culture because of what they are taken to represent in economic, technological, and evolutionary terms. The innovation of taking the plastic medium of clay and marrying it with pyrotechnology to create irreversibly a resilient object — usually in the form of a container, has frequently been assumed to mark a revolutionary stage in the development of modern human thought and practice, forming with agriculture and sedentism a trinity of epoch-changing innovations. This article talks about the idea of the body as being used as a container. It says that ‘Containment’ may well be the ‘function’ offering archaeology one of the most important sources of archaeological data and windows into society, and culture; but very little is known about the cognitive, experiential, and evolutionary grounding of the concepts embodied in each and every container.

Keywords: ceramics, economic, agriculture, sedentism, epoch-changing innovations, container, archaeology

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.