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This paper may be of particular interest to:  Practicing and Applied Anthropologists     Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges     Students
Type: Paper
Paper Title: POTTERS, POTS, AND IDENTITY: COMMUNITY VARIATION IN THE GAMO HIGHLANDS OF SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA
Author: JOHN ARTHUR (University of South Florida)   
Date/Time: Thu., 4:00 PM
Co-Author(s): JOHN ARTHUR (University of South Florida) 
Abstract: Previous research has shown that there are many factors, such as, vessel type, size, and function, producer skill, consumer preference, and market systems, which can affect vessel variation and standardization. This paper draws from my ethnoarchaeological research with the Gamo between 1996 and 1998 and addresses variation of ceramic vessels produced in different communities by full-time craft specialists. The Omotic-speaking Gamo, with a population of some 800,000 people strong, live in the highlands above Lake Abaya on the western edge of the Rift Valley, Ethiopia. They primarily are subsistence agriculturists, merchants, and craft specialists. This analysis consists of 1,058 vessels analyzed from 20 households from each of the three communities located in the central Gamo highlands. This paper focuses on three issues: (1) compares morphological features of specific vessel types to demonstrate if pots reflect specific potter communities, thus giving us a better perspective related to community identity; (2) evaluates a community reliant on the market system from two communities where a majority of pots are produced by resident potters; and (3) vessel size classes from the three communities will be compared to test if they are related to function. The dynamics of the Gamo production, distribution and use of pottery may aid in the archaeological interpretations of social interaction.

Program Number: 2-0840
Session Title: CERAMIC ECOLOGY XXIV: CURRENT RESEARCH ON CERAMICS 2010
Session Sponsor: Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Thu., 1:45 PM-5:30 PM
Organizer(s): CHARLES KOLB (National Endowment for the Humanities) 
Chair(s): CHARLES KOLB (National Endowment for the Humanities)  
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