A combined approach: Using NAA and petrography to examine ceramic production and exchange in the American southwest

Mary F. Ownby, Deborah L. Huntley, Matthew A. Peeples

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Over the past few decades, ceramic provenance research has seen the increased use of both chemical and mineralogical analyses. However, the success of each method is dependent both on the geological environment and the behavioral processes that created the pottery under study. The combination of bulk chemical and petrographic datasets may assist in overcoming the shortcomings of each method and improve the assignment of ceramics to specific production locations. Our research uses a mixed mode approach based on dissimilarity matrices and multidimensional scaling. The resulting combined dataset helps us assess the geographic extent of production and distribution of Maverick Mountain Series and Roosevelt Red Ware pottery found in the Upper Gila and Mimbres valleys of southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona. These pottery types have been connected to northern migrants arriving in these areas during the 13th century AD and subsequent regional scale social changes. This research provides a case study in the advantages of using complementary analytical techniques and combining their results to answer behavioral questions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-162
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • Dissimilarity matrices
  • Maverick Mountain Series
  • Mimbres Valley
  • NAA data
  • Petrography
  • Roosevelt Red Ware
  • Upper Gila Valley

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology

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