Why a kiln? firing technology in the Sierra de los Tuxtlas, Veracruz (Mexico)

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30 Scopus citations


The benefits of one ceramic firing technology over another are not absolute, but depend upon the interaction of multiple environmental, economic and social factors, as well as the specific design of firing facilities. The coexistence of updraft kilns and open firing methods in the Sierra de los Tuxtlas, Veracruz, Mexico, for over 1700 years provides a case-in-point. Evaluation of the performance characteristics of ancient and modern firing technologies in relation to their natural and behavioural contexts offers a more secure basis for under-standing this specific historical instance of long-term polymorphism than explanations based in the generalized technological advantages of kilns or their cross-cultural association with intensive modes of production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-76
Number of pages16
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2000


  • Ceramics
  • Ethnoarchaeology
  • Firing
  • Kiln
  • Mesoamerica
  • Mexico
  • Modern
  • Performance characteristics
  • Prehispanic
  • Technological choice
  • Veracruz

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Archaeology


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