Friday, 3 June 2016

Trowelblazers - Anna O Shepard

Anna Osler Shepard was a trailblazer in the study of ancient ceramics in the American South West. She studied optical crystalography and chemical spectroscopy in the 1930s, at Nebraska University, Claremont College and New York University, moving on to MIT in 1940, and gaining her PhD in 1942 from the University of Colorado.
The fabric of pottery can be used to determine where the clay came from, and Anna Shepard pioneered the work to determine sources for South Western and Mesoamerican pottery, demonstrating that potters from the Ancestral Pueblo culture, mostly women, made pottery on a large scale for trade throughout the region.
Her book Ceramics for the Archaeologist, published in 1956, is still used as a reference book today (and the book has 4.5 stars on Goodreads!).
She died in 1971.
Here she is with some of the pottery she studied:

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