Standardization of Ceramic Assemblages: Transmission Mechanisms and Diffusion of Morpho-Functional Traits across Social Boundaries

Abstract : This paper addresses the question of the diffusion of morpho-functional traits across social boundaries. A present-day situation is examined. It describes the widespread adoption of a granite tempered water jar by two social communities of potters who used to produce distinct ranges of morpho-functional vessels. The analysis of the transmission mechanisms shows that diffusion of such traits occurred both through indirect and direct transmission. Indirect transmission occurred at the inter-group level while direct transmission under the form of technical guidance occurred at the intra-group level. These were triggered by the intention of the artisans to produce a model valued by the consumers and which sells well. This intention took place in a context of collapse of the previous economic system. These results suggest that in a context where ceramic production was previously diversified and economically complementary, the standardization of morpho-functional traits signals that an established «rule» was transgressed and therefore that major socio-economic changes took place.
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Valentine Roux. Standardization of Ceramic Assemblages: Transmission Mechanisms and Diffusion of Morpho-Functional Traits across Social Boundaries. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, Elsevier, 2015, 40, pp.1-9. ⟨10.1016/j.jaa.2015.04.004⟩. ⟨hal-01548565⟩

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