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Maritime Adaptations and Arctic Ceramic Technology: Results of Residue Analysis

Author(s): Christopher Yarnes ; Shannon Tushingham ; Shelby Anderson

Year: 2015

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Summary

Archaeologists have put forth various hypotheses to explain the adoption of pottery technology by hunter-gatherer groups. These include the efficiency of ceramics over other container technology, rising population pressure and related increased need for storage, and a change in food processing practices. Food processing shifts could include diet breadth expansion, particularly increased use of aquatic resources. The late adoption of pottery technology in the North American Arctic between 2500 and 2800 years ago coincides with the development and spread of an increasingly specialized maritime economy. As such, arctic ceramic technologies present an excellent case study for further examining the correlation between hunter-gatherer adoption of pottery technology and aquatic resource use. In this paper we review the timing and distribution of early pottery in Alaska and explore the link between changing diet and culinary practices through residue analysis of pottery vessels from northwest Alaska. The results of this study suggest changes in diet over time, and identify a direct link between pottery use and processing of marine resources. Although the sample size is small, this analysis further suggests a diversification in marine resource use between 1000 and 500 cal BP.

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Maritime Adaptations and Arctic Ceramic Technology: Results of Residue Analysis. Shelby Anderson, Shannon Tushingham, Christopher Yarnes. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395747)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Arctic


Spatial Coverage

min long: -178.41; min lat: 62.104 ; max long: 178.77; max lat: 83.52 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America