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What's in a Hole? Memory, Knowledge, and Personhood in the Cache Pit Food Storage Features of Northern Michigan

Author(s): Kathryn Frederick ; Meghan Howey

Year: 2017

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Summary

Physical food storage is one mechanism hunter-gatherers use to even out the variability of subsistence resources throughout seasonal cycles. Food storage facilities are typically plain, undecorated constructions basic to mundane needs and as such, food storage features do not necessarily appear at first look as social technology, that is, as objects that extend personhood. However, we suggest food storage facilities, in ensuring the fundamental continuation of the human body, can never be separated from issues of personhood, biologically but also beyond -- morally, socially, symbolically. Here, we examine interactions between local hunter-gatherer communities and their immovable food storage cache pit features in the inland lake landscape of Douglas and Burt Lakes in Northern Michigan during Late Precontact (ca. AD 1000-1600). Our archaeological data indicates that these storage features were not only more widespread than previously recognized, but also intensely planned within the landscape. When storage features are considered a social technology, we can begin to understand them as features that inscribe knowledge and memory densely across the landscape.


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Cite this Record

What's in a Hole? Memory, Knowledge, and Personhood in the Cache Pit Food Storage Features of Northern Michigan. Kathryn Frederick, Meghan Howey. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429214)


Keywords

General
Storage

Geographic Keywords
North America - Midwest


Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.634; min lat: 36.739 ; max long: -80.64; max lat: 49.153 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 12167

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