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This paper may be of particular interest to:  Students
Type: Paper
Paper Title: CERAMIC SOCIAL LIFE AT TSAGHKAHOVIT: A BIOGRAPHICAL LOOK AT POTTERY ECONOMY IN THE LATE BRONZE AGE SOUTH CAUCASUS
Author: ALAN GREENE (University of Chicago)   
Date/Time: Thu., 3:00 PM
Co-Author(s): ALAN GREENE (University of Chicago) 
Abstract: Contemporary archaeology has productively used compositional datasets drawn from artifacts such as pottery, metal objects, and stone tools to illustrate broader claims about exchange, distribution, and long-distance trade activity across a multitude of epochs and locales. While such research has contributed greatly to our understanding of local and regional circulation patterns in the past, as well as the often-dramatic transport histories of rare raw materials, broader attempts to interpret the meaning of such circulatory activity seldom take into account the economic domains of production and consumption and their relevant material parameters. This omission of production and consumption data produces what amounts to a heuristically impotent archaeological economics, where the meaning of circulation activity is derived from unmarked objects in motion, rather than a holistic and sociopolitically informative economic anthropology. In this paper, I argue that biographical or “social lives of objects” analysis, an approach that takes into account the habitual social contexts through which different types of objects pass from initial production to final deposition, is adept at providing the broader economic context essential for understanding the meaning of circulatory activity. In doing so, I offer an account of the economy of pottery on Armenia’s Late Bronze Age (LBA) Tsaghkahovit plain, assembling production, circulation, and consumption data in a synthetic account of everyday pottery biographies. I argue that such parallel pottery datasets are crucial to interpreting broader LBA patterns of exchange, tribute, and the daily processing and distribution of foodstuffs that reproduced the local political economy.

Program Number: 2-0800
Session Title: MOTION CHECK: ARCHAEOLOGICAL INSIGHTS ON THE CIRCULATION OF SUBJECTS AND OBJECTS
Session Sponsor: Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Thu., 1:45 PM-5:30 PM
Organizer(s): DAVID PETERSON, ALAN GREENE (University of Chicago) 
Chair(s): SARAH GRAFF (University of Chicago)  
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