Histological examination of bone-tempered pottery from mission Espíritu Santo (41VT11), Victoria County, Texas

Tamra L. Walter, Robert R. Paine, Harold Horni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bone-tempered pottery is commonly found at Late Prehistoric and historic sites in both south and central Texas. While most scholars have assumed the inclusions are bone, attempts to identify species have been limited. The following paper provides a new approach to examining bone-tempered pottery through the use of histological methods. The application of this technique provides positive identification of the inclusions as bone and has the potential to shed light on the species of animal/s used for bone temper. Applying histological methods to a sample of pottery sherds from the Spanish Colonial mission of Espiritu Santo in south Texas is allowing a more detailed look at the crushed bone used as temper. Through histology the micro-anatomical features of bone can be examined and compared to known species. The identification of species can potentially yield information concerning possible regional differences in the types of bone used for temper and changes in native technologies through time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-398
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2004

Keywords

  • Bone-tempered pottery
  • Ceramic analysis
  • Histology
  • Mission archaeology
  • Texas archaeology

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