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Prehistoric Cooking with Rock and Rock Substitutes in the Sacramento Valley, California

Author(s): Kristina Crawford

Year: 2017

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When populations increase, more resources need to be extracted from the land to satisfy their needs. When cooking, one way to increase yields is to change techniques to include rock heating elements. To test this, twenty sites from the Late Archaic Period (3,000 to 150 BP) in the northern Sacramento Valley of California were examined. The results of the study indicated that there is an increase in rock heating elements and thermally altered rock in archaeological deposits through time. It was noticed during the study that at the same time that rock heating elements increase in frequency in the archaeological record in the Sacramento Valley, substitutes for rock, specifically clay cooking stones were also introduced into the record. To test the validity of clay as a substitute for rock, a series of experiments have been conducted to determine heating ability, fracture rates, and fuel use. The results of rock versus clay cooking abilities are presented here.

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Cite this Record

Prehistoric Cooking with Rock and Rock Substitutes in the Sacramento Valley, California. Kristina Crawford. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429559)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16360

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