Functioning at Full Capacity: The Role of Pottery in the Woodland Upper Great Lakes

Author(s): Susan Kooiman

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Archaeological Method and Theory: Papers in Honor of James M. Skibo, Part I" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

James Skibo’s seminal works on pottery function created a valuable model for assessing the role of pottery in the lives of past peoples. While this approach has broad applicability for ceramic assemblages worldwide, its efficacy has been demonstrated through a series of studies on ancient pottery assemblages from coastal sites in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Both technical properties of ceramic cooking pots and their associated use-alteration traces, particularly interior carbonization, indicate differences in vessel construction and use by local Middle Woodland (200 BC – AD 500/600) and Late Woodland (AD 500/600 – AD 1600) cooks. Vessel shape, temper size, and patterning of interior carbonized food residues suggest a shift in preferred cooking techniques over time. These alterations may be responsive to environmental shifts, social change, or culinary trends spread from interaction with other groups. Overall increase in vessel size could reflect changes in settlement patterns and socio-ideological interactions but may have also provided a functional cooking advantage. The contributions of this work to Upper Great Lakes archaeology demonstrate the strength and utility of Skibo’s framework.

Cite this Record

Functioning at Full Capacity: The Role of Pottery in the Woodland Upper Great Lakes. Susan Kooiman. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450900)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -103.975; min lat: 36.598 ; max long: -80.42; max lat: 48.922 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23380