Document Type


Publication Date


Department 1



The study of craft production has a long and venerable history in archaeological research on ancient societies. In this chapter, I consider the crafting of useful and desired things from a materiality perspective by looking at the interactions between the craftpersons, the materials with which they work, and the ways that their end products are valued in society. I use two examples: working with fibers by the Maya of Mesoamerica and with metals by the Moche of Andean South America. These are two very different kinds of materials whose characteristics affect how one interacts with them. Crafting was a part of everyday life for the Maya and Moche. Through these two case studies I illustrate the role crafting plays in the development of identities and personhood, in the process contributing to the meaning of everyday life to people in these societies.



Required Publisher's Statement

Original version is available from the publisher at: