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Rice, Prudence M. 1947–

Rice, Prudence M. 1947–

PERSONAL:

Born June 29, 1947, in Melrose, MA. Education: Wake Forest University, B.A., 1969, M.A., 1971; Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D., 1976.

ADDRESSES:

E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Taught at the University of Florida; Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, 1991—, professor of anthropology, head of department, 1993-99, director of the Office of Research Development and Administration, associate vice chancellor for research, associate dean of the graduate school. Illinois Groundwater Consortium, director; University of Illinois extension service and farm research station, director. Serves on the boards of directors of the Argonne National Laboratory Consortium for Advanced Radiation Studies and the Southern Illinois Collegiate Common Market.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Outstanding Scholar award, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale; various research grants.

WRITINGS:

(Editor, with Marian E. Saffer) Analysis, Technical and Ethnographic Approaches to Pottery Production and Use, Florida State Museum of the University of Florida (Gainesville, FL), 1982.

(Editor) Pots and Potters: Current Approaches in Ceramic Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology (Los Angeles, CA), 1984.

(Editor, with Arlen F. Chase) The Lowland Maya Postclassic, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 1985.

Macanche Island, El Peten, Guatemala: Excavations, Pottery, and Artifacts, University Presses of Florida (Gainesville, FL), 1987.

(Editor, with Robert J. Sharer) Maya Ceramics: Papers from the 1985 Maya Ceramic Conference, B.A.R. (Oxford, England), 1987.

Pottery Analysis: A Sourcebook, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1987.

(Editor) The Prehistory & History of Ceramic Kilns, American Ceramic Society (Westerville, OH), 1997.

(Editor, with Arthur A. Demarest and Don S. Rice) The Terminal Classic in the Maya Lowlands: Collapse, Transition, and Transformation, University Press of Colorado (Boulder, CO), 2004.

Maya Political Science: Time, Astronomy, and the Cosmos, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 2004.

Maya Calendar Origins: Monuments, Mythistory, and the Materialization of Time, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 2007.

Contributor to scholarly journals. Founder of Latin American Antiquity, a journal of the Society for American Archaeology.

SIDELIGHTS:

Prudence M. Rice is a professor of anthropology and an expert on prehistoric Latin American pottery and Maya civilization. Rice closely studies pottery because the changes in materials, styles, and techniques used by potters over time enable archaeologists to evaluate the cultures who lived on sites where pottery has been found. Rice is the author of Pottery Analysis: A Sourcebook. "In view of the sustained concern with pottery, it is a paradox that archeologists are generally only vaguely familiar with ceramics as a physicochemical and engineering system," noted Robert L. Rands, who reviewed the volume in Science. "Rice addresses this deficiency. Her stated objectives are to identify and define concepts used in pottery analysis, to integrate them, and to assess the different approaches. In the absence of an explicit body of ceramic theory, researchers are prone to oversimplification and unicausal explanation. Rice takes her warning to heart; in addition to giving essential descriptive information, she includes a number of cautionary observations, often cross-referenced with previous discussions."

In Maya Political Science: Time, Astronomy, and the Cosmos, Rice contends that Classic Maya political organization was based on the Maya calendar to a greater extent than previously believed. Scott R. Hutson wrote in the Journal of Latin American Studies: "After introducing the reader to competing models of Classic period political organisation (chapter 2), the calendrical cycles that ground the may model (Chapter 3), and the major sources for her direct historical approach (hieroglyphic inscriptions, native contact-era documents, Spanish colonial documents, dictionaries, and modern ethnography; chapter 1), Rice turns to the central case study of her book, Tikal." Tikal, in Peten, Guatemala, is a good example of the may seat because so many of its carved monuments were created to celebrate k'atun endings (twenty-year periods) of mays of 256 years each. Rice projects that Tikal was a may seat during three periods—the Preclassic, Early Classic, and Late Classic. The may had two halves. During the second half, the incumbent may seat handed over some religious functions to the site that would host the next may. Consequently, each site's term included three periods of 128 years—the guest seat, the full seat, and the outgoing seat.

Marilyn A. Masson reviewed Maya Political Science in Latin American Antiquity, concluding that it "is a milestone in Mesoamerican studies. The may model has made its debut, and its significance is clear—a new explanation has been offered for the dynamic process of ancient Maya political structure. Maya archaeologists must now confront the arguments presented in this provocative, definitive book, which promises to realign scholarly positions regarding the organization of ancient Maya polities. This reviewer is convinced that Rice has cracked the code that explains, more fully, the internal cultural logic and greater systemic functions of calendrical celebrations at individual sites."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Anthropologist, December, 1988, review of Macanche Island, El Peten, Guatemala: Excavations, Pottery, and Artifacts, p. 1035; June, 1989, Vincas P. Steponaitis, review of Pottery Analysis: A Sourcebook, p. 486.

American Antiquity, April, 1989, Ben A. Nelson, review of Pottery Analysis, p. 435; October, 1989, Robert E. Fry, review of Macanche Island, El Peten, Guatemala, p. 885.

American Journal of Archaeology, January, 1989, D.P.S. Peacock, review of Pottery Analysis, p. 143.

American Scientist, July 1, 1988, Charles C. Kolb, review of Pottery Analysis, p. 408.

Americas, April, 2005, Joel W. Palka, review of The Terminal Classic in the Maya Lowlands: Collapse, Transition, and Transformation, p. 706.

Antiquity, March, 2006, Lisa J. Lucero, review of Maya Political Science: Time, Astronomy, and the Cosmos, p. 226.

Ceramics Monthly, October, 1987, review of Pottery Analysis, p. 77; September, 1997, review of The Prehistory & History of Ceramic Kilns, p. 32.

Choice, September, 2004, C.C. Kolb, review of The Terminal Classic in the Maya Lowlands, p. 148; July 1, 2005, C.C. Kolb, review of Maya Political Science, p. 2046.

Historian, fall, 2006, Jon C. Lohse, review of Maya Political Science, p. 601.

History: Review of New Books, spring, 2005, Lauren A. Sullivan, review of Maya Political Science. p. 106.

Journal of Latin American Anthropology, fall, 2004, Christina M. Elson, review of The Terminal Classic in the Maya Lowlands, p. 482; April, 2006, Emilian Kavalski, "Images of Power: Iconography, Culture and the State in Latin America," p. 249.

Journal of Latin American Studies, February, 2006, Scott R. Hutson, review of Maya Political Science, p. 181; April 1, 2006, Emilian Kavalski, review of Maya Political Science, p. 249.

Latin American Antiquity, December, 2005, Marilyn A. Masson, review of Maya Political Science, p. 475.

Reference & Research Book News, April, 1988, review of Pottery Analysis, p. 19; November, 1997, review of The Prehistory & History of Ceramic Kilns, p. 136.

Science, May 6, 1988, Robert L. Rands, review of Pottery Analysis, p. 818.

Science Books & Films, January, 1988, review of Pottery Analysis, p. 155.

SciTech Book News, October, 1987, review of Pottery Analysis, p. 5.

ONLINE

Southern Illinois University, Carbondale Web site,http://www.siu.edu/ (September 17, 2003), author profile.

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