Acorn Processing and Pottery Use in the Upper Great Lakes: An Experimental Comparison of Stone Boiling and Ceramic Technology
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Sch Anthropol
adoption of pottery
Upper Great Lakes
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherInforma UK Limited
CitationHanson, K. E., Bryant, P. L., Painter, A. M., & Skibo, J. M. (2019). Acorn Processing and Pottery Use in the Upper Great Lakes: An Experimental Comparison of Stone Boiling and Ceramic Technology. Ethnoarchaeology, 1-16.
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AbstractThe adoption of pottery in the Upper Great Lakes region occurs quite late compared to the greater Eastern Woodlands. Recent organic residue analyses suggest that the earliest pottery in the Upper Great Lakes region was likely used to process acorns. Through experimental means using temperature as a proxy, this paper evaluates the efficacy of leaching tannins from acorns by comparing two regionally available cooking technologies: stone boiling versus simmering in a ceramic vessel. Our results indicate that tannins can be more effectively leached at simmering temperatures like those provided by ceramic vessels. At boiling temperatures, tannins are irreversibly bound to the acorn starches, rendering the nutmeat inedible in further processing. While there are a number of reasons to adopt and use pottery, it appears that processing acorns may be another important addition to this growing list.
Note18 month embargo; published online: 27 July 2019
VersionFinal accepted manuscript
SponsorsSocial and Behavioral Sciences Research Institute at the University of Arizona (SBSRI Pre-Doctoral Research Grant) [16PDF0610]