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The Recycled Pots and Potsherds of Spain

Florence C. Lister and Robert H. Lister
Historical Archaeology
Vol. 15, No. 1 (1981), pp. 66-78
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25615389
Page Count: 13
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Recycled Pots and Potsherds of Spain
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Abstract

The Romans and their cultural heirs, the Byzantines, devised a method for using discarded amphorae in vaulting large buildings, which they each followed in eastern and southern Spain as well as in Italy. In the same Iberian regions, Spanish medieval masons continued incorporating used earthenwares into some edifices, but the reasoning behind the practice, the way in which it was executed, and the kinds of ceramics greatly changed through time, due in part to different architectural styles. Through artifact and archival evidence, the method now has been confirmed also to have been current in Andalusia at the time the Spanish American colonies were being established and to have diffused overseas as Sevillian masons migrated to the Caribbean. There reused whole vessels and potsherds have been recovered from numerous 16th to 18th century vault haunches. Apparently Indian builders of colonial Mexico did not, however, adopt the procedure.

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