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Cooperative harvesting of aquatic resources triggered the beginning of pottery production in north-eastern North America

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JournalAntiquity
DatePublished - Feb 2015
Issue number343
Volume89
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)177-190
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

What benefitswere derived from the invention
of pottery? And why did ceramics remain
marginal for so long? Increasing use of pottery
has been seen as a response to large-scale
harvesting in a model that favours economic
advantage through increased efficiency. This
paper challenges that view; combining carbon
and nitrogen isotope and lipid analysis the
authors argue that pottery was used selectively
for storing or processing valued exchange
commodities such as fish oil. Its use can be seen
as part of broader developments in huntergatherer
society, featuring seasonal gatherings,
collective feasting and a new articulation of
social relations.

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