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Preface: A Professional and Personal View of


Charles C. Kolb
CHAPTER NOVEMBER 2014

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1 AUTHOR:
Dean E. Arnold
Field Museum of Natural History
72 PUBLICATIONS 413 CITATIONS
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Retrieved on: 01 October 2015

Social Dynamics of
Ceramic Analysis:
New Techniques and
Interpretations
Papers in Honour of Charles C. Kolb
Edited by

Sandra L. Lpez Varela

BAR International Series 2683


2014

Published by
Archaeopress
Publishers of British Archaeological Reports
Gordon House
276 Banbury Road
Oxford OX2 7ED
England
bar@archaeopress.com
www.archaeopress.com

BAR S2683
Social Dynamics of Ceramic Analysis: New Techniques and Interpretations
Papers in Honour of Charles C. Kolb

Archaeopress and the individual authors 2014

ISBN 978 1 4073 1329 0

Printed in England by CMP (UK) Ltd


All BAR titles are available from:
Hadrian Books Ltd
122 Banbury Road
Oxford
OX2 7BP
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www.hadrianbooks.co.uk

The current BAR catalogue with details of all titles in print, prices and means of payment is available free
from Hadrian Books or may be downloaded from www.archaeopress.com

CONTENTS
PREFACE A professional and personal view of Charles C. Kolb .................................................................................... 1
Dean E. Arnold
CHAPTER 1. Ceramic Ecology XXVII: Celebrating more than a Quarter Century of Ceramic Ecology ........................ 4
Sandra L. Lpez Varela, Dean E. Arnold, and Christopher A. Pool
CHAPTER 2. Cross-Cultural Ceramic Analysis: Albania and Yucatn in the Keck Lab at Millsaps College ............... 13
Michael L. Galaty, George J. Bey III, and Timothy J. Ward
CHAPTER 3. Pottery, People, and pXRF: Toward the Development of Compositional Profiles for Southeast
Mesoamerican Ceramics .................................................................................................................................................. 22
David Rafael McCormick and E. Christian Wells
CHAPTER 4. The Conundrum of Volcanic Ash in the Maya Lowlands, an Essay in Honor of Charlie Kolb and
International and Interdisciplinary Ceramic Ecology ...................................................................................................... 36
Anabel Ford
CHAPTER 5. Investigating the Production and Circulation of Pottery Vessels in Peripheral Tikal during the Classic
Period ............................................................................................................................................................................... 50
Kirk Damon Straight
CHAPTER 6. Of Polychrome and Politics in Southern Veracruz, Mexico ..................................................................... 64
Philip J. Arnold III
CHAPTER 7. Building Landscapes of Memory with Pots: hermeneutic Expressions of Tlaloc in a Festivity of the
Valley of Morelos, Mexico .............................................................................................................................................. 75
Sandra L. Lpez Varela and Daniel Aguilar Escobar
CHAPTER 8. Using Traditional Pottery as a Tool for Strengthening Local Cultural Identity in Poland........................ 87
Aleksandra Wierucka and Magdalena Sacha
CHAPTER 9. Clay Griddles, Analytical Techniques, and Heritage: an ethnoarchaeological Perspective of Economic
Development Policies in Mexico ..................................................................................................................................... 95
Sandra L. Lpez Varela

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PREFACE
A professional and personal view of Charles C. Kolb

Dean E. Arnold
The Field Museum, Chicago

organized for the 1986 American Anthropological


Association meeting to honor Frederick R. Matson
(Kolb and Lackey 1988), a foundational symposium
that continued with the same theme for more than twoand-one half decades.

I first met Charlie in an informal context at the


American Anthropological Association (AAA) meeting
in Seattle in 1968, when we were both graduate
students. This encounter sealed our mutual interest in
ceramics with a pleasant meal together at a restaurant
on Puget Sound. At the time, we were both job-hunting,
and I suggested that he apply for the position at Bryn
Mawr, a post to which he was ultimately appointed. In
retrospect, this was the seminal format of the Ceramic
Ecology sessions many years later, networking to
discuss ceramics, going out for dinner with likeminded colleagues, and helping others. Since that first
meeting, Charles C. Kolbs contribution to ceramic
studies has been relentless and indefatigable with
massive inputs of energy to organize Ceramic Ecology,
an international and interdisciplinary symposium,

Personally, these Ceramic Ecology sessions have been


critical for me because through it, I have learned about
the research of many colleagues, almost all of whom I
would have never known had it not been for their
participation in its sessions. Indeed, there is no such
formal opportunity at the Society for American
Archaeology (SAA), the organization to which most of
us belong. Although I knew fewer people at the AAA
than the SAA, attending the AAA provided more

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Social Dynamics of Ceramic Analysis: New Techniques and Interpretations


advantages for me because being at a small liberal arts
college, I taught across the four sub-fields of
anthropology, and I needed to expose myself to the
breadth of the field, and peruse new books that were
only available at its meetings. Further, my professional
position was outside of the networks of information,
influence, and power in archaeology. I felt this often at
professional meetings, even though my excellent
students, cordial colleagues, and the intellectual holism
of my life at Wheaton gave me great personal
satisfaction.

sessions themselves. As a result, Charles Kolb has


become the most critical node of the network of
ceramic specialists in archaeology.
There is another side to Charles Kolb, his unique
ability to synthesize a vast amount of information, and
remember individual contributions and their authors.
He belongs to every scientific organization imaginable
that involves ceramics and reads their journals. He
regularly distilled papers from the AAA, SAA, and
other meetings for the Society for Archaeological
Sciences Bulletin, La Tinaja: A Newsletter of
Archaeological Ceramics, and the Joint Newsletter of
the Prehistoric Ceramics Research Group and the
Ceramic Petrology Group in the UK.

Research-wise, I was also out-of-the-loop because of


limited travel funds, and I felt the exclusion of being
outside most of the networks in my field. I suspect that
I am not alone in this, and that there are many scholars
like me. The Ceramic Ecology sessions allowed me to
plug into networks and relationships with genuinely
nice people who were interested in the same topics.
Consequently, I participated regularly in the Ceramic
Ecology sessions, not necessarily because I wanted to
contribute a paper to get my way paid to the meeting,
but because I wanted to maintain contact with other
like-minded colleagues, and build relationships with
them. The Ceramic Ecology session was like home to
me, the place where I already knew many scholars,
learned about their research, and developed new
relationships with those I did not know. It was also a
personal and professional anchor for me in the vast
impersonal, but tightly scheduled chaos of a national
meeting with thousands of participants.

As much as we have tried to honor Charles Kolb with


this volume, it is not possible to do justice to his
accomplishments in education, government, and
research, as exemplified in his curriculum vitae of
more than one hundred single-spaced pages. From
those pages, it is possible to extract his research
interests in the archaeology of North America,
Mesoamerica, and central Asia. Much of his experience,
that is seldom, if ever, seen in the archaeological
community, is demonstrated by his writing research
articles, editing and reviewing a massive number of
books, and authoring encyclopedia articles. An
incredible bibliographic mind, Charlies memory for
sites, scholars, and bibliographic sources outshines
most of us. Further, Charlies print reviews of books
for the American Library Associations review system,
known by most of us as the Choice-cards, and those in
various other scholarly journals and newsletters have
kept him in touch with the latest research in the field.

Based on the breadth of Charlies experience, the


Ceramic Ecology sessions have fostered several kinds
of professional networks. First, there are those formed
among graduate students and are the strongest between
those of the same mentor, such as Charlies Penn State
network of fellow graduate students. These are reified
and strengthened through time with continued personal
contact at professional meetings. Second, there are the
networks of those who work together on the same
projects in the field. When archaeologists and students
return to the same field setting year after year, their
relationships are carried forward into professional
meetings and solidified. Charles Kolb has continuing
relationships with those archaeologists who worked
with him in the Valley of Mexico, in Pennsylvania, in
Africa, and in Afghanistan. A third kind of network is
formed through employment. Charlie participated in
networks with colleagues and former students during
his 24 years of teaching at Penn States University Park
and Erie campuses, at Bryn Mawr, and at Mercyhurst
College. His work during the twenty-three years at the
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
provided even more personal relationships and
networks. For more than two decades, he knew the
names of those who applied for NEH grants in ceramic
studies, and those who had received them. Finally,
there are the networks that advanced the cause of
ceramic studies that resulted from the Ceramic Ecology

The regular and persistent anonymous peer reviews of


journal articles, scholarly books (N = 589!), and NSF
grants exposed him to cutting-edge research in the field,
along with the names of the scholars that were doing it.
He has also done over forty reviews of individuals for
promotion and tenure. His reviewing skill is second to
none. Some years back, I received two anonymous
prepublication reviews of a new book-length
manuscript that I had submitted to the University Press
of Colorado. One review was a book in itself: thirteenand-one-half single-spaced pages of editing issues,
constructive critique, and suggestions for articles and
books that I had missed in the typescript. The stark
contrast between this review and the second
anonymous review was like the difference between day
and night. Having known Charlie for 40 years at that
point, I recognized the scholarly care, bibliographic
richness, analytical skill, and an eye for detail that are
all too rare among scholars today. The so-called
anonymous review had Charlie Kolb written all over
it. I confronted him several months later about it and he
remarked with a wry smile that he seemed to remember
doing such a review. He does more of this kind of
2

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Dean E. Arnold: Preface


anonymous reviewing than many of us are aware,
and he often works behind the scenes, making him one
of the most implicitly powerful and influential scholars
in ceramic studies today. Because of Charlies work as
a reviewer, his participation in so many networks, and
his work at NEH, he knew about the younger scholars
in the field. He cultivated relationships with them, put
them on the ceramic ecology list, encouraging them to
present a paper in the symposium, or asking them to be
discussants for the session. This was a critical
opportunity for them to expose their research to the rest
of us, and provide a key component for their
socialization into a ready-made network of
professionals engaged in ceramic studies.
In summary, Charlies seemingly limitless energy in
reviewing, his participation in networks with other
scholars studying ceramics, and his co-founding and
cultivating the ceramic ecology symposium has
produced critical and unprecedented contributions to
knowledge about ceramics, and their role in
anthropology and archaeology. If the most important
knowledge is embedded and embodied in human
beings, as Einstein is attributed to have said, then
understanding the sociology of that knowledge is
critical for the advancement of science. In this light,
Charlies position was foundational and crucial in
ceramic studies. Charles Kolb maintained the ceramic
ecology network for more than 25 years, systematically
had a social strategy to bring new scholars into it, and
worked tirelessly for it to happen. There may be those
who others identify as more powerful and influential in
ceramic studies, but from the point of view of the
sociology of knowledge, Charlie Kolb was the critical
node in the ongoing network that brought scholars in
ceramics together for more than a quarter of a century.
References Cited
Kolb, Charles C., and Louana M. Lackey 1988 A Pot
for all Reasons: Ceramic Ecology revisited. Papers
Dedicated to Frederick R. Matson. Philadelphia: A
special Publication of Ceramica de Cultura Maya.