Heating Stones: An Experimental and Ethnographic Analysis of Fire Cracked Rock at Two Monongahela Sites in Southwestern PA
Author(s): Kristina Gaugler
This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
The use of heated stones in both cookery and social rituals is an important technology in the repertoire of human food and lifeways. Archaeological assemblages often contain high percentages of these heated stones, or fire cracked rock (FCR). Yet despite its relative frequency in archaeological collections, the full diagnostic potential of FCR for determining feature or site function is little explored, specifically regarding its use among the Monongahela. This research experimentally created FCR through stone boiling, dry-roasting, and steaming to assess the morphological characteristics of the resulting heated stones. The experimental methodology was informed through consultation with Native American community members and through ethnohistoric research concerning traditional cooking methods. Experimentally created FCR was then compared to archaeologically recovered FCR from two Late Woodland period Monongahela sites located in southwestern Pennsylvania: the Johnston and Squirrel Hill sites. This study seeks to improve our interpretation of FCR recovered during archaeological investigations and to aid in differentiating between either cooking and non-cooking behavior, or between specific types of cooking techniques.
Cite this Record
Heating Stones: An Experimental and Ethnographic Analysis of Fire Cracked Rock at Two Monongahela Sites in Southwestern PA. Kristina Gaugler. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449381)
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Abstract Id(s): 24959