Pottery use in Alaskan prehistory: an organic residue analysis approach


Despite major environmental challenges, pottery was manufactured and used by Palaeo- and Neo-Eskimos in Alaska for millennia. To better understand why pottery was used by Alaskan hunter-gatherers, the authors have undertaken a number of site-based organic residue analyses that provide direct biomolecular and isotopic evidence for the contents of past pots. The ubiquitous presence of aquatic biomarkers, along with compound specific isotope data, show that pottery use at the sites was consistently related to the processing of aquatic resources, even where a wider variety of foodstuffs was included in the diet. Additionally, there is little evidence for the processing of non-aquatic resources. Future studies aim to better understand the relationship between pottery and aquatic resources in Alaska, and to provide more precise information relating to the origins of archaeological residues.

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Cite this Record

Pottery use in Alaskan prehistory: an organic residue analysis approach. Thomas Farrell, Peter Jordan, Rick Knecht, Oliver Craig. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395827)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -169.717; min lat: 42.553 ; max long: -122.607; max lat: 71.301 ;