Characterizing Eighteenth Century Technological Changes in Pawnee Pottery

Author(s): Donna Roper

Year: 2015


The pottery produced by the Pawnee of the central Great Plains of North America underwent extensive modification in the eighteenth century. Although twentieth-century archaeologists described the "early" and "late" materials, they did not adequately characterize how Pawnee potters modified their craft in terms of vessel morphology or technological practice, nor did they consider pottery function. Thus, we have no satisfactory account of this change. Situated in the context of technological changes during the contact era, this study uses petrography, vessel morphometrics, pXRF, and FTIR to address how the pottery changed. The analysis reveals that the introduction of metal vessels did not lead to a phase-out of native pottery, but rather that the functions formerly performed by pottery alone were divided between metal and earthenware. The appearance of the material was so markedly different because manufacturing technology and form were modified to facilitate pottery’s revised role in foodways.

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Cite this Record

Characterizing Eighteenth Century Technological Changes in Pawnee Pottery. Donna Roper. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397061)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.95; min lat: 30.751 ; max long: -97.163; max lat: 48.865 ;