Friday, July 18, 2008

10,182 potsherds

Sorry if I'm still obsessing about this one ceramic collection, but in its size, good preservation, and diversity it tops any single sherd collection I've ever worked on. These piles of sherds on a lab table (probably 700 or so) are JUST THE DECORATED SHERDS from our big midden. This is somewhere near the total size of an average sherd collection.

The next photo shows a couple of piles of sherds by type (Red rim bowls o the left, and polished red, type B-0, on the right). The classification of these sherds is done by our excellent sherd wizards. These women, from the village of San Francisco Calixtlahuaca, started off last year washing sherds and other artifacts as they came in from the excavations. Our lab director, Cindy, had the women start working on some classification and cataloging in addition to the washing, so we hired them again this year, and they are doing a great job.

Here is another photo, with all four included this time. It took all week to get this level done, and we can now move on to a few of the other one thousand or so collections that need to be sorted.