Thermal Properties of Prehistoric Ceramic Vessels of the American Southeast


A common class of prehistoric ceramic vessels are those that share attributes related to the processing, cooking, storage and serving of food resources. Depending on the specifics of the use contexts, attributes will vary systematically and depend on the range of activities, the details of the food resources, and the heating technology in which the vessels are used. Thus, we can expect that many technological traits of vessels such as temper, wall thickness, porosity, firing temperature, and manufacturing techniques will be systematically shaped by local performance conditions. One key dimension of variability that is directly associated with the performance of vessels to cook food is thermal conductivity: the rate at which heat is transferred from one side of the vessel wall to the other. The physical properties of ceramic vessels are key to understanding how an object insulates, conducts, or withstands temperature change. In this study, we examine variability in thermal conductivity of prehistoric ceramic samples from the American Southeast and explore the compromises made by prehistoric peoples in terms of vessel performance, energy expenditure, and cooking techniques.

Cite this Record

Thermal Properties of Prehistoric Ceramic Vessels of the American Southeast. Nolan O'Hara, Tiffany Raymond, Carl P. Lipo, Hannah Elliott. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443251)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.735; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -73.389; max lat: 39.572 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 21349