Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Symbolism of Coarse Crystalline Temper: A Fabric Analysis of Early Pottery in New York State
by Mitchell, Ammie M., Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo, 2017, 404; 10621050
Abstract (Summary)

This research focuses on the problem of how early pottery in New York State is defined and analyzed. Many traditional models suggest early pottery developed from an earlier steatite stone bowl technology. Thus far, studies that examine early pottery in the Northeast, called the Vinette Type Series, focus on the potential functions, archaeological contexts, and surface appearance of these vessels and fail to account for the social practices and technological choices inherent within these artifacts. This dissertation reevaluates early pottery using a non-typological approach. In the place of descriptive analysis, this research uses petrography, experimental geo-archaeology, and technical choice and agency theories to identify the different types of temper present in early ceramic vessels. This study also looks at the patterns of different technical choices made by early potters. The redefinition of early ceramic technology using post-modern theories allows the author to better understand the social practices involved in the rise of ceramic technology. The ceramic technological patterns identified are then compared with steatite stone bowl technology. This study concludes that early ceramic technology is more closely related to the practices of earth oven convection cooking than it is to any other cooking artifact. A reclassification of early ceramic fabrics is presented and the traditional early ceramic Vinette type categories are rejected.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Perrelli, Douglas J.
Commitee: Barbour, Warren, Chevral, Timothy
School: State University of New York at Buffalo
Department: Anthropology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 79/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Archaeology, Native American studies
Keywords: Native american, Northeastern woodlands, Petrography, Pottery, Technical choice theory, Vinette
Publication Number: 10621050
ISBN: 978-0-355-31074-0
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