An examination of Recuay kaolin pottery production and exchange through petrography and LA-ICP-MS (100–700 CE; Ancash, Peru)

M. Elizabeth Grávalos, Rebecca E. Bria, George F. Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the production and exchange of kaolin ceramics among Recuay communities in highland Ancash, Peru (ca. 100–700 ce). We draw upon geochemical (laser ablation–inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry; LA-ICP-MS) and petrographic data to investigate raw material use, provenance, and intraregional trade. We present data on 115 decorated and plain ceramics sampled from nine archaeological sites, which we compare with data on raw kaolin clays. The results indicate a complex network of production and exchange, which included: (1) local production near almost all sites; (2) the limited exchange of ceramic vessels; and (3) the possible distribution of kaolin clay from at least two sources.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1340-1358
Number of pages19
Issue number6
Early online date22 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Andes
  • ceramic production
  • early intermediate period
  • exchange networks
  • kaolin
  • petrography

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