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Cautious vs. Interesting: Cultural Interpretation of Absorbed Organic Pottery Residues

Author(s): Eleanora Reber ; Mark Rees ; Samuel Huey

Year: 2017

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Absorbed organic pottery analysis is a technically easy but interpretively difficult branch of archaeometry. Given the complex interaction between organic chemistry, pot use, pyrolytic effects, depositional effects, and modern contamination, it is often difficult to balance interpretations between appropriately cautious and culturally and anthropologically useful information. This issue is illustrated through the analysis and interpretation of a suite of absorbed organic pottery residues extracted from pottery excavated from the Louisiana Gulf coast. Compounds in these sherds result from a complex mixture of events, including archaeological usage, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, post-spill use of dispersants, and normal depositional issues. How do we untangle these interlocking cultural events to produce a meaningful interpretation?

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Cautious vs. Interesting: Cultural Interpretation of Absorbed Organic Pottery Residues. Eleanora Reber, Mark Rees, Samuel Huey. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431916)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16886

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