Hunter-gatherer cuisine: recent advances in chemical and isotopic analysis of early pottery
Publication date: Jan 24, 2014 4:07:40 PM
Start: Mar 10, 2014 4:00:00 PM
Location: Room 612, Institute of Archaeology
Oliver Craig (University of York) will give the eighth seminar in the Term II Institute Research Seminar series on Isotopes in Archaeology on 10 March.
The emergence of pottery is one of the oldest problems in World Archaeology, and scholars have traditionally tended to link its invention to the rise of farming economies and settled village life. It is now clear that the oldest pottery extends much further back in time; ceramic vessels appeared among East Asian hunting and gathering societies around 20,000 years ago, and were independently invented by other Holocene forager groups, well before the arrival of farming. The reasons for the innovation and wide-spread uptake of pottery by a broad range of hunter-gatherers are far from clear and very little is known about the function of early pottery. Here I will show how the latest methods of organic residue analysis can be used to explore its culinary role, choosing case studies from the Northern Europe (Ertebølle), North America (Vinette I) and North-eastern Asia (Jōmon). From the results of these analyses, I will emphasise the social significance of pottery to small-scale mobile foragers, partially linked to its use as an adaptive technology to deal with the seasonal glut of specific foods.
The seminar will take place at 4pm in Room 612 at the Institute and will be followed by a reception in the Staff Common Room (Room 609).
Any enquiries about the seminar series may be directed to Ian Freestone.
Institute Research Seminar Programme | Isotopes in Archaeology
- 13 January: Tracing Visitors to our Shores (Jane Evans, NERC Isotope Facility)
- 20 January: Stable Isotopes, Climate Change and Early Hominin Palaeoecology (Philip Hopley, Birkbeck)
- 27 January: House and home at Çatalhöyük: Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope evidence from people and their animals (Jessica Pearson, University of Liverpool)
- 3 February: The origin and spread of glass making: the isotopic evidence (Patrick Degryse, University of Leuven)
- 10 February: Plant stable isotope analysis: new insights into farming practice and diet (Amy Bogaard, University of Oxford)
- 24 February: Isotope Archaeometallurgy (Ernst Pernicka, Curt-Englehorn Centre for Archaeometry, Mannheim & University of Heidelberg)
- 3 March: Milking the Residues: Molecular and Isotopic Signatures from Human Prehistory (Richard Evershed, University of Bristol)
- 10 March: Hunter-gatherer cuisine: recent advances in chemical and isotopic analysis of early pottery (Oliver Craig, University of York)
- 17 March: Stable light isotopes offer new perspectives on early hominin dietary ecology (Julia Lee-Thorp, University of Oxford)
- 24 March: Loaves or fishes? Reconstructing individual 5000-year-old dietary histories for the children of Shetland's first farmers (Janet Montgomery, University of Durham)