Use-alteration of pottery: An ethnoarchaeological and experimental study.
AuthorSkibo, James Matthew.
KeywordsKalinga (Philippine people) -- Antiquities
Pottery -- Philippines -- Guinaang -- Themes, motives
Pottery -- Philippines -- Guinaang -- Analysis
Ethnoarchaeology -- Philippines -- Guinaang
Guinaang (Philippines) -- Antiquities
Philippines -- Antiquities.
AdvisorLongacre, William A.
Committee ChairSchiffer, Michael B.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractArchaeologists rely heavily on pottery data to make inferences about the past. Although a critical component of such inferences is knowing how the pots were used, archaeologists at present cannot reconstruct accurately pottery function. This research provides the means whereby actual pottery use can be determined from traces that remain on pots. The study focuses on an analysis of nearly 200 vessels collected in the Kalinga village of Guina-ang. Traces, in the form of organic residues, attrition, and carbon deposits, are linked to pottery use activities observed in Kalinga households. The analysis of organic residue focuses on fatty acids absorbed into the vessel wall; samples are taken from Kalinga cooking pots and several types of food. It is found that rice cooking pots can be discriminated from vegetable/meat cooking pots, though individual plant species cannot be distinguished in the latter. In several cases, however, there is conclusive evidence for meat cooking. An analysis of Kalinga "archaeological" sherds was also performed to look at fatty acid preservation. A pottery attrition analysis, similar to the study of lithic use-wear, is also performed on Kalinga pottery. The objective is to understand the general principles in the formation of an attritional trace. Nine areas on Kalinga cooking vessels are found to have attritional patches. The two forms of Kalinga cooking vessels could be discriminated based on attrition. Carbon deposits reflect what was cooked, how it was heated, and some general activities of cooking. Interior carbon deposits result from the charring of food and is governed by the source of heat, intensity of heat, and the presence of moisture. The processes that govern the different types of exterior soot are difficult to identify and several experiments are performed. It is found that soot deposition is controlled by wood type, temperature of the ceramic surface, and the presence of moisture. This research demonstrates that archaeologists can begin looking at organic residues, attrition and carbon deposits to infer how their vessels were used in the past.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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