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Petrography is a valuable tool in which ceramics are studied at a microscopic level, revealing structures, features, and compositional information undiscernible at the macroscopic level. This study uses petrography to investigate Coconut Walk Unslipped (CWU), a pottery type prominent at Late Terminal Classic Mayan archaeological sites on Ambergris Caye, Belize. All CWU sherds in this study are tempered primarily with quartz sand grains although the grains vary in roundness. They also contain small amounts of microcrystalline sparry calcite features. These findings are similar to those of the 1999 study by Iceland and Goldberg on ceramic sherds of a similar age at two nearby archaeological sites. Their samples were also quartz tempered contrary to the previously assumed regional trend of carbonate tempered ceramics. The study of CWU type ceramics might lend support to Iceland and Goldberg's theory of a regional shift from the use of carbonate temper to a quartz temper, near the end of the Late Classic period.


See also

Aimers, James J., Elizabeth Haussner, Dori Farthing and Thomas Guderjan 2015 The Ugly Duckling: Insights into Ancient Maya Commerce and Industry from Pottery Petrography. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 12:89-95.

Aimers, Jamers J, Elizabeth Haussner, Dori Farthing and Satoru Murata 2016 An Expedient Technology and Its Implications for Ancient Maya Trade and Interaction. In Perspectives on the Ancient Maya of Chetumal Bay, edited by D. Walker, pp. 149-161. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.