Mary Ownby

Mary Ownby
The University of Arizona | UA

PhD
My research is focused on the scientific study of ancient pottery using primarily petrography but also other instruments

About

54
Publications
3,758
Reads
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131
Citations
Citations since 2016
34 Research Items
103 Citations
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Introduction
I conduct petrographic analysis of ceramics and other archaeological materials. I also employ chemical data and other scientific methods to understand the production and use of archaeological objects. My interests are in technological traditions, cultural connections, trade, and communities of practice. I work mostly in the US Southwest and Egypt.
Additional affiliations
August 2010 - present
Desert Archaeology, Inc.
Position
  • Research Petrographer
Education
September 2007 - May 2010
University of Cambridge
Field of study
  • Archaeology
September 2006 - May 2007
University College London
Field of study
  • Technological Analysis of Archaeological Materials
August 2001 - May 2004
University of California, Berkeley
Field of study
  • Near Eastern Studies

Publications

Publications (54)
Article
Over the past few decades, ceramic provenance research has seen the increased use of both chemical and mineralogical analyses. However, the success of each method is dependent both on the geological environment and the behavioral processes that created the pottery under study. The combination of bulk chemical and petrographic datasets may assist in...
Book
Full-text available
Edited volume of papers on utilizing ceramic petrography combined with other methods to understand the past.
Article
The typical method employed to analyze glaze surfaces has been chemical analysis often by means of scanning electron microscopy, which provides visual information as well. However, glazes can also be examined petrographically and their features related directly to the paste of the ceramic body. The link between raw materials used for producing the...
Article
NOW ON OPEN ACCESS cut and paste https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00758914.2019.1664197 into your web browser. Thin-section petrography was used to examine 36 samples of imported Early Bronze Age Combed vessels from Giza, Egypt. The samples come from fragmentary pots found in early Old Kingdom tombs of high officials, and the workers’...
Article
This paper challenges the still-popular use of territory, materiality, genetics, and linguistics to define a homogeneous and stable shared identity (or “diffuse unity”) for the Isthmo-Colombian Area. Using the communities of practice and communities of consumption concepts, we suggest that the distribution of pottery was the result of practices rel...
Article
Reseña de libro: Ceramics and Society. A Technological Approach to Archaeological Assemblages (Springer, Switzerland, año 2019), de la autora Valentine Roux en colaboración con Marie-Agnès Courty.
Article
Full-text available
Recent theoretical approaches in archaeology have focused on “big data” that is the production of large and varied datasets reflective of advances in scientific methods and data science. While such data are now more common, the need for “thick data”, qualitative and contextual information, has also become significant. Particularly for ceramic resea...
Article
Full-text available
This study employs ceramic petrography to establish if the existing typology-based divisions for the so-called Middle Nubian cultures can be related to variations in Nubian ceramic technologies during the mid-second millennium BC (c. 1800–1550 BC). Raw materials, paste recipes, and firing technology are analyzed to identify similarities and differe...
Article
A recent petrographic study of ceramic jars from Giza imported into Egypt during the 4th Dynasty of the Pyramid Age (c. 2613–2494 BCE) identified the original production zone as the Lebanese coast generally between Beirut and Tripoli, including the region of Byblos. The jars and their contents were imported to Egypt by maritime trade expeditions co...
Article
Patrick E. McGovern, The Foreign Relations of the “Hyksos.” A Neutron Activation Study of Middle Bronze Age Pottery from the Eastern Mediterranean. With Updated Preface 2020. Oxford: BAR International Series 888, 2020. ISBN 9781841710884. Pp. Xxii + 242, 17 black and white plates and 29 black and white figures. £57 Online Addendum to the above publ...
Article
At the time when prehistoric populations were uprooting and relocating themselves across much of the Southwest, an influx of thousands of immigrants possibly arrived onto the elevated and windswept terrain of Perry Mesa in central Arizona. During the Late Classic (A.D. 1280–1400), the expanded populations built large and imposing pueblos equally sp...
Article
Thin-section petrography on imported Combed jars from the 6th Dynasty Abusir tomb complex of Qar and his family identified the central Levant, between Beirut and Tripoli, as the production zone of the vessels. Dating to the reign of 6th Dynasty king Pepy II (ca. 2278–2184 B.C.), the jars were made of the same mixed Cretaceous clay type used for imp...
Article
Pre-contact Native American sites in northeastern Colorado typically yield only a few sherds per site (if present), thus little information is known regarding ceramic manufacture by highly mobile groups in this area. Over the past fifty years, systematic archaeological research in Larimer County has generated a large sample of pottery for detailed...
Article
Abstract: Geoanalytical results on imported ceramics from Egypt demonstrate wide-ranging links between 1st Dynasty Egypt and different Levantine commodity production centres. This diffuse network contrasts with the highly efficient Old Kingdom supply chain, based on the maritime route to Byblos and the surrounding region in northern Lebanon. A data...
Book
Full-text available
In the area of Balat in the eastern Dakhla Oasis the archaeological mission of the Institut français d’archéologie orientale has uncovered a large area consisting of various camps dating from the early 4th dynasty (ca. 2600 BC), which were briefly but intensively occupied. These are understood to have served as residential base camps for some of th...
Article
Broadline Purple-on-red pottery, dated to the Tortolita Phase (AD 500–700), is notable as one of the earliest decorated wares in the Tucson Basin. This ware is also unique for its sparkly “purple” paint made with ground specular hematite. Such material is available in the Tucson Mountains, but whether it was exploited for the production of Broadlin...
Article
A 2018 workshop on the White Mountain Apache Tribe lands in Arizona examined ways to enhance investigations into cultural property crime (CPC) through applications of rapidly evolving methods from archaeological science. CPC (also looting, graverobbing) refers to unauthorized damage, removal, or trafficking in materials possessing blends of communa...
Article
Full-text available
Recent examinations of more than 13,000 disk beads from mortuary contexts determined that macroscopic examination was not always enough to distinguish shell, stone, and fired-clay beads. Using replication experiments and scanning electron microscopy energy dispersive spectrometry (SEM-EDS), we update the 80-year-old conclusions of Emil Haury, who d...
Poster
Full-text available
Presents information on the Ceramic Petrographers in the Americas group including our website: www.cerpetam.weebly.com and Facebook page. Highlights our goals and resources while also summarizing three methods for the petrographic analysis of ceramics.
Chapter
Full-text available
Presents the results of experiments on making pottery using paddle-and-anvil and coil-and-scrape with different clay types. The second section examines the results of petrography on pottery from four areas indicating where the vessels were made and how that relates to past movement.
Research
Full-text available
Resume for Mary Ownby, updated 2016. 16 peer-reviewed publications; 30 non-peer-reviewed publications on work in the Near East; 46 non-peer-reviewed publications on work in the US Southwest; and 3 edited works
Research
Full-text available
This brochure outlines the services available through Desert Archaeology, Inc.'s ceramic characterization laboratory. We provide a wide-range of instrumentation and analysis with experience in many parts of the American Southwest and the Eastern Mediterranean.
Technical Report
Full-text available
Petrographic analysis of 12 samples of Fourmile Polychrome from Fourmile Ruin and Shumway Ruin. Included comparison of petrographic results with that from NAA of the same 12 samples. Results suggest the clay is the most significant for grouping samples and identifying discrete producers.
Chapter
Full-text available
Petrographic analysis of Nabataean painted (NPFW) and unpainted fine ware bowls from Mudayna Thamad, tentatively dated to the 1st century AD, aimed to investigate provenance and technology. Painted fine ware bowls from Petra, cooking pots from the site, and clay samples from Wadi ath-Thamad were also included. Through a technological style approach...
Article
Full-text available
Ceramic Petrography and Hopewell Interaction. Stoltman James B. . 2015. The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, xxii + 232 pp. $69.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-8173-1859-8. - Volume 81 Issue 1 - Mary F. Ownby
Article
Tell el-Murra, located in the north-eastern part of the Nile Delta, is the subject of excavations conducted by the Institute of Archaeology of the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, following surveys carried out in 2008 and 2010–11. A cemetery and settlement remains dating to the Predynastic Lower Egyptian culture through the end of the Old Kingdom...
Article
Full-text available
Hohokam buff ware pottery produced in Arizona has been much studied over the last few decades. However, petrographic analysis has been less frequently applied, due in part to mistaken assumptions regarding the raw materials utilized. The current study reexamined the use of petrography for locating the provenance of buff ware pottery from two sites,...
Book
Full-text available
The roots of this volume go back to the session titled "Characterization of Andean Ceramics" organized at the 2014 Society for American Archaeology meeting in Austin Texas. The session meant to offer a perspective on the state of ceramic analysis in Andean archaeology, on recent views about manufacture, production and circulation of wares in the an...
Article
Full-text available
Late Bronze Age imported vessels have been found throughout Egypt during the New Kingdom. Their presence is a tangible testament to the international trade carried out throughout the eastern Mediterranean during this period. Those found at Piramesses/Qantir are particularly important as they represent what was acquired by the royal court in the Nin...
Article
This short bibliography is provided as a guide to some of the more recent ceramic studies that provided important information on Egyptian interconnections. It does not aim to be exhaustive, but to highlight some of the trends in the field and where advances have been made. The compilers hope this bibliography will be a starting place for those inte...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Provenance study of Vahki Plain, Vahki Red, and Red-on-gray/buff ware from La Villa in Phoenix. The results support the previous study highlighting the production of decorated pottery in the area of the Santan Mountains, which probably began with the manufacture of Vahki Red and also included plain ware. Other producers of Vakhi phase pottery were...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Petrographic analysis of three sediment samples from an ash feature at Los Pozos, Tucson, Arizona.
Technical Report
Full-text available
Petrographic analysis was conducted on 20 plain ware samples from Paseo de las Iglesias, Tucson Basin, dating to the Agua Caliente and Tortolita phases. An additional 101 existing thin sections from sites in the Tucson Basin were reexamined to assess technology for pottery production during these phases. The results suggest most of the pottery from...
Book
This volume presents the papers given at an international conference on "Functional Aspects of Egyptian Ceramics within their Archaeological Context", which was held from 24th to 25th July, 2009 at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, UK. The aim of this conference was to discuss Egyptian pottery in different...
Article
Full-text available
A selective review of the section: "Material Evidence for Contact: Ceramics, Imports and Imitations"
Article
Trade between two regions often necessitates that the respective parties are political entities. This was indeed the case for trade between Egypt and the Levant during the Middle Bronze Age (ca. 2000-1550 BC, MBA) and Late Bronze Age (ca. 1550-1200 BC, LBA). Scientific analyses of Canaanite jars, transport vessels, from the site of Memphis, Egypt p...
Article
Full-text available
Recent petrographic analysis of Hohokam plain and buffwares indicated a difference in morphology between schist temper in prehistoric sherds and schist in alluvial sands. In addition, it was proposed that the temper in such pottery was not from sand, but was composed of schist that had been intentionally crushed and added to the paste. The purpose...

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