Skip to main content Accessibility help

Identifying Individual Vessels with X-Radiography

  • Christopher Carr (a1)


The individual vessel, rather than the sherd, is the relevant unit of analysis in many kinds of behavioral studies. Economical methods for assigning the sherds of multiple vessels to their vessels of origin are introduced for household-made ceramics. The methods employ visible surface indicators of vessel individuality as well as radiographically detectable ones such as temper quantity, size distribution, spatial distribution, and material type, void spaces, and fracture systems. A hierarchical, sequential sorting strategy and certain radiographic methods, which are optimal for revealing the internal features of ceramics, make this application possible.


La vasija individual, en vez de los pedazos de vasija, es la unidad de análisis pertinente en muchas clases de estudios de conducta humana. En este trabajo, se introducen métodos económicos para designar los pedazos de vasijas múltiples a sus vasijas de origen en cuanto se refiere a la cerámica fabricada domésticamente. Los métodos utilizan indicadores visibles de superficie de la individualidad de las vasijas así como indicadores detactables radiográficamente como cantidad de degrasante, distribución de tamaño, distribución espacial, y tipo de material, espacios vacíos, y sistemas de fractura. Una estrategia jerárquica y secuencial de clasificación y ciertos métodos radiográficos, los cuales son óptimos para revelar los rasgos internos de la cerámica, hacen posible esta aplicación



Hide All
Adler, M. 1983 Xeroradiographic Study of Early Mississippian Ceramic Technology : Initial Findings from the Audrey-North Site. Paper presented at the Midwestern Archaeological Conference, Northwestern University, Evanston.
Alexander, R. E., and Johnston, R. H. 1982 Xeroradiography of Ancient Objects : A New Imaging Modality. In Archaeological Ceramics, edited by Olin, J. S. and Franklin, A. R., pp. 145154. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D. C.
Arnold, D. 1985 Ceramic Theory and Cultural Process. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Barrett, H. H., and Swindell, W. 1981 Radiological Imaging : The Theory of Image Formation, Detection, and Processing. 2 vols. Academic Press, New York.
Bernstein, F., Scheid, C. C., and Wilson, C. R. 1977 The Effect of Target Composition, kVp, and Filtration on Patient Skin Dosage and Contrast in Mammography. Applied Radiology January/February : 6269.
Braithwaite, M. 1982 Decoration as Ritual Symbol : A Theoretical Proposal and an Ethnographic Study in Southern Sudan. In Symbolic and Structural Archaeology, edited by Hodder, I., pp. 8088. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Braun, D. P. 1982 Radiographic Analysis of Temper in Ceramic Vessels : Goals and Initial Methods. Journal of Field Archaeology 9 : 183192.
Braun, D. P. 1983 Pots as Tools. In Archaeological Hammers and Theories, edited by Moore, J. and Keene, A. S., pp. 107134. Academic Press, New York.
Braun, D. P. 1985 Absolute Seriation : A Time Series Approach. In For Concordance in Archaeological Analysis : Bridging Data Structure, Quantitative Technique, and Theory, edited by Carr, C., pp. 509539. Westport, Kansas City.
Braun, D. P. 1987 Coevolution of Sedentism, Pottery Technology, and Horticulture in the Central Midwest, 200 B. C. -A. D. 600. In Emergent Horticultural Economies of the Eastern Woodlands, edited by Keegan, W. F., pp. 153181. Occasional Paper No. 7. Center for Archaeological Investigations, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.
Braun, D. P., and Plog, S. 1982 Evolution of “Tribal” Social Networks : Theory and Prehistoric North American Evidence. American Antiquity 47 : 504525.
Bryant, L. E., and Mclntire, P. (editors) 1985 Radiography and Radiation Testing. Nondestructive Testing Handbook, 2nd ed., vol. 3. American Society for Nondestructive Testing, Columbus.
Cahoon, J. B. 1956 Formulating X-ray Techniques. Duke University Press, Durham.
Carr, C. 1985 Radiographic Analysis of Ceramic Technological Variation for the Absolute Dating of Archaeological Assemblages : Woodland Southern Ohio. Proposal submitted to the National Science Foundation, Washington, D. C. Copies available from the author.
Carr, C. 1986 Technological Change in Midwestern Woodland Ceramics. Paper presented at the Midwestern Archaeological Conference, Columbus, Ohio.
Carr, C. 1987 Anthropological Archaeology and Units of Ceramic Analysis. Paper presented at the 86th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Chicago.
Carr, C. 1989a Ceramic Temper Characterization with Radiography and Petrography. Paper presented at the 54th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Atlanta.
Carr, C. 1989b Advances in Ceramic Radiography and Analysis : Data Collection and Quantification. Ms. on file, Department of Anthropology, Arizona State University, Tempe.
Carr, C. 1990 Advances in Ceramic Radiography and Analysis : Potentials. Journal of Archaeological Science 17 : 1334.
Carr, C. (editor) 1985 For Concordance in Archaeological Analysis : Bridging Data Structure, Quantitative Technique, and Theory. Westport, Kansas City.
Carr, C, and Komorowski, J-C. 1991 Nondestructive Evaluation of the Mineralogy of Rock Temper in Ceramics Using X-Radiography. In Materials Issues in Art and Archaeology, I, edited by Sayer, E. V., Vandiver, P., Druzik, J., and Stevenson, C., pp. 435440. Materials Research Society, Pittsburgh.
Carr, C, and Komorowski, J-C. 1992 Identifying the Mineralogy of Rock Temper in Ceramics Using X-Radiography. Ms. on file, Department of Anthropology, Arizona State University, Tempe.
Carr, C, and Riddick, E. B. 1990 Advances in Ceramic Radiography and Analysis : Laboratory Methods. Journal of Archaeological Science 17 : 3566.
Chayes, F. 1956 Petrographic Modal Analysis. John Wiley, New York.
Christensen, E. E., Curry, T. S. III, and Dowdey, J. E. 1978 An Introduction to the Physics of Diagnostic Radiology. 2nd ed. Lea and Febiger, Philadelphia.
Claassen, C. 1977 Estimating Occupation Spans from Artifacts : A Trial Run at Selevac, Yugoslavia. Paper presented at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, New Orleans.
Digby, A. 1948 Radiographic Examination of Peruvian Pottery Techniques. Actes du XXVIII Congres International des Americainistes. Paris.
Eastman Kodak Company 1980 Radiography in Modern Industry. Eastman Kodak, Rochester.
Eastman Kodak Company 1981 Products for Medical Diagnostic Imaging. Eastman Kodak, Rochester.
Elam, M., Carr, C., Glascock, M., and Neff, H. 1992 Ultrasonic Disaggregation and Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis of Textural Fractions of Tucson Basin and Ohio Valley Ceramics. In Chemical Chararacterization of Ceramic Pastes in Archaeology, edited by Neff, H., pp. 93112. Prehistory Press, Madison, Wisconsin.
Ericson, J. E., and DeAtley, S. P. 1976 Reconstructing Ceramic Assemblages : An Experiment to Derive the Morphology and Capacity of Parent Vessels from Sherds. American Antiquity 41 : 484489.
Fingerhut, A., and Fountainelle, P. 1974 Xeroradiography in a Radiation Therapy Department. Cancer 34(1) : 7882.
Foster, G. V. 1983 Xeroradiography : Non-invasive Examination of Ceramic Artifacts. In Application of Science in Examination of Works of Art, edited by England, P. A. and Zelst, L. van, pp. 213216. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Friedrich, M. 1970 Design Structure and Social Interaction : Archaeological Implications of an Ethnographic Analysis. American Antiquity 35 : 332343.
Glanzman, W. D., and Fleming, S. J. 1986 Xeroradiography : A Key to the Nature of Technological Change in Ancient Ceramic Production. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A242 : 588595.
Gonzalez, R. C, and Wintz, P. 1977 Digital Image Processing. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
Haas, H., Carr, C., Bonani, G., Devine, J. M., and Woolfi, W. 1988 Radiocarbon Dating and Prehistoric Ceramic Chronometry : Issues and Methods. Paper presented at the 13th Annual Meeting of the International Radiocarbon Society, Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia.
Hagstrum, M., and Hildebrand, J. A. 1990 The Two-Curvature Method for Reconstructing Ceramic Morphology. American Antiquity 55 : 388403.
Hally, D. J. 1986 The Identification of Vessel Function : A Case Study from Northwest Georgia. American Antiquity 5 1 : 267295.
Heinemann, S. 1976 Xeroradiography : A New Archaeological Tool. American Antiquity 41 : 106111.
Hill, J. N. 1970 Broken K Pueblo : Prehistoric Social Organization in the American Southwest. Anthropological Papers No. 18. University of Arizona, Tucson.
Hodder, I. 1982 Sequences of Structural Change in the Dutch Neolithic. In Symbolic and Structural Archaeology, edited by Hodder, I., pp. 162177. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Jenkins, R., and Vries, J. L. de 1969 Practical X-Ray Spectrometry. Springer-Verlag, New York.
Lindauer, O. 1988 Ceramic Conjoinability. Paper presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Phoenix.
Lovis, W. A. 1990 Curatorial Considerations for Systematic Research Collections : AMS Dating a Curated Ceramic Assemblage. American Antiquity 55 : 382387.
Marshall, M., Peaple, L. H. J., Ardran, G. M., and Crooks, H. E. 1975 A Comparison of X-ray Spectra and Outputs from Molybdenum and Tungsten Targets. British Journal of Radiology 48 : 3139.
Meyers, P. 1978 Applications of X-Ray Radiography in the Study of Archaeological Objects. In Archaeological Chemistry— II, edited by Carter, G. G., pp. 7996. Advances in Chemistry Series No. 171. American Chemical Society, Washington, D. C.
Mills, B. J., Camilli, E. L., and Wandsnider, L. 1988 Spatial Patterning in Ceramic Vessel Distributions. Paper presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Phoenix.
Plog, S. 1980 Stylistic Variation in Prehistoric Ceramics. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Rice, P. M. 1984 Pots and Potters : Current Approaches in Ceramic Archaeology. Monograph No. 24. Institute of Archaeology, University of California Press, Los Angeles.
Rice, P. M. 1987 Pottery Analysis : A Sourcebook. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Rini, J. M., Horowitz, A., Baiter, S., and Watson, R. C. 1973 A Comparison of Tungsten and Molybdenum as Target Material for Mammographic X-ray Tubes. Radiology 106 : 657661.
Rye, O. 1977 Pottery Manufacturing Techniques : X-ray Studies. Archaeometry 19 : 205210.
Rye, O. 1981 Pottery Technology. Taraxacum, Washington, D. C.
Schiffer, M. B. 1972 Archaeological Context and Systemic Context. A merican A ntiquity 37 : 156165.
Schiffer, M. B. 1975 The Effects of Occupation Span on Site Content. In The Cache River Archeological Project : An Experiment in Contract Archeology, assembled by Schiffer, M. B. and House, J. H., pp. 265269. Research Series No. 8. Arkansas Archeological Survey, Fayetteville.
Shepard, A. O. 1956 Ceramics for the Archaeologist. Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D. C.
Smith, M. 1981 Vessel and Sherd Morphology as Indicators of Cultural Use. Paper presented at the 46th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Diego.
Smith, M. 1983 The Study of Ceramic Function from Artifact Size and Shape. Unpublished Ph. D. dissertation, Department of Anthropology, University of Oregon, Eugene.
Smith, M. 1988 Function from Whole Vessel Shape : A Method and an Application to Anasazi Black Mesa, Arizona. American Anthropologist 90 : 912922.
Snyder, D. 1987 Quantitative Analysis of Variability of Temper and Other Inclusions in Micronesian Pottery : A Comparative Approach Using X-radiography. Ms. on file, Center for Archaeological Investigations, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.
Steponaitis, V. 1982 Ceramics, Chronology, and Community Patterns : An Archaeological Study at Moundville. Academic Press, New York.
Sullivan, A. P. Ill 1988 Sherd Refitting and the Reconstruction of Household Ceramic Technology. Paper presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Phoenix.
Titterington, P. F. 1935 Certain Bluff Mounds of Western Jersey County, Illinois. American Antiquity 1 : 646.
Turner, C. G. II, and Lofgren, L. 1966 Household Size of Prehistoric Western Pueblo Indians. Southwest Journal of Anthropology 22 : 117132.
van der Leeuw, S. E., and Pritchard, A. C. (editors) 1984 The Many Dimensions of Pottery : Ceramics in Archaeology and Anthropology. CINGULA 7. Institute for Pre-and Proto-history, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam.
Villa, P. 1982 Conjoinable Pieces and Site Formation Processes. American Antiquity 47 : 276290.
Washburn, D. K. 1983 Symmetry Analysis of Ceramic Design : Two Tests of the Method on Neolithic Material from Greece and the Aegean. In Structure and Cognition in Art, edited by Washburn, D., pp. 138164. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Wagner, R. F., Weaver, K. E., Denny, E. W., and Bostrom, R. G. 1974 Toward a Unified View of Radiological Imaging Systems. Part I : Noiseless Images. Medical Physics 1 : 1124.
Weibel, E. R. 1979 Stereological Methods, vol. 1 : Practical Methods for Biological Morphometry. Academic Press, London.
Wolfe, J. 1972 Xeroradiography of the Breast. Thomas, Springfield.


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed