By Kenneth E. Sassaman
A Dan Josselyn Memorial Publication
Among southeastern Indians pottery used to be an innovation that greater the commercial price of local meals and the potency of meals training. yet even supposing pottery used to be on hand within the Southeast as early as 4,500 years in the past, it took approximately millenia ahead of it used to be established. Why might an innovation of such fiscal worth take goodbye to be adopted?
The solution lies within the social and political contexts of conventional cooking expertise. Sassaman's publication questions the price of utilizing technological characteristics on my own to mark temporal and spatial limitations of prehistoric cultures and indicates how social technique shapes the prehistoric archaeological record.
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Extra info for Early Pottery in the Southeast: Tradition and Innovation in Cooking Technology
Yet unlike the reciprocal exchanges I alluded to for the Savannah River Valley, the regional trade in soapstone was undoubtedly better organized. For instance, the Poverty Point commerce in soapstone bowls that Jenkins (1982) 36 EARLY CERAMIC VESSEL TECHNOLOGY cites as the mechanism for the diffusion of pottery could not have been possible without the creation of formal, binding obligations between individuals or groups. It is also reasonable to suggest that not all individuals or groups participated equally in Poverty Point trade.
Observations of these attributes on archaeological data are evidence that ceramic vessels were used in both indirect- and direct-heat methods of cook11 PROBLEM ORIENTATION AND OVERVIEW ing. Further observations on the use wear (soot) of vessels support this inference. I apply the sample chronology to these results and find that pots were used directly over fire on the coast throughout the Late Archaic period but that a technique of indirect-heat cooking persisted in the interior long after pottery was adopted and even after innovations appeared on the coast which improved the thermal efficiency of ceramic vessels.
Ethnohistoric, experimental, and archaeological data are reviewed to draw inferences about the functions of perforated soapstone slabs, baked clay objects, pottery, and soapstone vessels. Data on the formation of soapstone slab assemblages, including patterns of recycling and maintenance, are examined to determine their effects on the spatial distribution of these items in the region. The results show that soapstone slabs are widely distributed throughout the Coastal Plain, an area devoid of naturally occurring soapstone.
Early Pottery in the Southeast: Tradition and Innovation in Cooking Technology by Kenneth E. Sassaman