Dating Charred Food Crust: Offsets, Pretreatment, and Organic Compunds


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Unlike charcoal, charred food residue has an obvious advantage of fundamental association with use of the pottery and hence, human activity. Food is annual or short-lived. Usually animals hunted for food live only a few to perhaps a few tens of years. Therefore, good dates on food residue from ceramics or pottery should tighten ceramic chronologies and provide more accurate chronologist of occupation. What, though, are good dates? Recent focus on dating annuals to better understand chronologies has included dating ceramic residues under the assumption that they were equivalent to annuals. Examining and comparing dates on annuals, wood, and ceramic residues from many locations has shown otherwise. Focus on freshwater reservoir offsets suggests the problem may be regional and embedded in the food; however, dating reference bones indicates that trophic level of fish contributes to offset making assigning offset values impossible. Food crust from different locations on a single vessel may yield different dates, suggesting the rim and neck are better sampling locations. Combining lab pretreatment and location of food crust on the vessel appear to provide the tools necessary to obtain congruent dates on charred food crust and annuals. FTIR analysis tracks soluble compound removal prior to dating.

Cite this Record

Dating Charred Food Crust: Offsets, Pretreatment, and Organic Compunds. Linda Scott Cummings, R. A. Varney, Thomas W. Stafford Jr., Robert J. Speakman. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450330)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -168.574; min lat: 7.014 ; max long: -54.844; max lat: 74.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25067