In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, much of what is now the south-western United States was known as Alta California, a remote part of New Spain. The presidios, missions, and pueblos of the region have yielded a rich trove of ceramics materials, though they have been sparsely analysed in the literature. Ceramic Production in Early Hispanic California fills that lacuna and reinterprets the position of Alta California in the Spanish Colonial Empire.
Using both petrography and neutron activation analysis to examine over 1,600 ceramic samples, the contributors to this volume explore the region's ceramic production, imports, trade, and consumption. From artistic innovation to technological diffusion, a different aspect of the intricacies of everyday life and culture in the region is revealed in each essay. This book illuminates much about Spanish imperial expansion in a far corner of the colonial world. Through this research, California history has been rewritten.
Russell Skowronek is professor of history and anthropology at the University of Texas-Pan American. He is the co-editor of X Marks the Spot, HMS Fowey Lost and Found, and Beneath the Ivory Tower. M. James Blackman is senior research chemist emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution in the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History. Ronald L. Bishop is curator for Mexican and Central American archaeology and senior research archaeologist at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.