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Brendan J. M. Weaver: Wine, Brandy, and Botijas

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, March 16, 2021. 12:00 PM
Meeting Location: 
Zoom
Workshop: 
Standardization in Ancient Economies 2020
Meeting Description: 

The early-modern Iberian heir to the ancient Mediterranean amphora tradition was the botija, a coarse-earthenware wheel-thrown vessel ubiquitous in the transport and trade of goods, liquid and solid. Since the 1960s numerous detailed archaeological studies have documented the evolution of botija form and processes of standardization from terrestrial and underwater sites on both sides of Atlantic. A sample of over 11,000 excavated botija sherds from the seventeen- and eighteen-century Jesuit vineyard haciendas of Nasca, Peru illuminates the quotidian aspects of production in the hands of enslaved African-descended master ceramists. The archaeology of productive and daily life shed light on a unique context where botijas and their setters were produced using Iberian techniques and with Mediterranean forms in mind, but decoration often resonates with Atlantic African traditions.

Dr. Brendan J. M. Weaver is a postdoctoral scholar at the Stanford Archaeology Center at Stanford University. He earned his PhD in anthropology from Vanderbilt University in 2015. Weaver’s interdisciplinary archaeological and historical research explores “race,” slavery, and religion in colonial and early republican Latin America. His current research explorers the material culture, political aesthetics, and quotidian experience of enslaved African-descended laborers at two seventeenth and eighteenth century Jesuit wine estates on Peru’s South Coast. Since 2009, Weaver has directed the Haciendas of Nasca Archaeological Project (PAHN), centered on Nasca’s Ingenio Valley, which is the first project to archaeologically study the African diaspora in what is today the Republic of Peru.

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