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Ceramics in Circumpolar Prehistory


  • Page extent: 246 pages
  • Size: 253 x 177 mm
  • Weight: 0.69 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9781107118249)

Throughout prehistory the Circumpolar World was inhabited by hunter-gatherers. Pottery-making would have been extremely difficult in these cold, northern environments, and the craft should never have been able to disperse into this region. However, archaeologists are now aware that pottery traditions were adopted widely across the Northern World and went on to play a key role in subsistence and social life. This book sheds light on the human motivations that lay behind the adoption of pottery, the challenges that had to be overcome in order to produce it, and the solutions that emerged. Including essays by an international team of scholars, the volume offers a compelling portrait of the role that pottery cooking technologies played in northern lifeways, both in the prehistoric past and in more recent ethnographic times.

• Undertakes a novel investigation into why pottery technology was adopted into the Circumpolar World by prehistoric hunter-gatherer communities • Examines the motivations for adopting pottery and explores some of the challenges involved • Examines the social and cultural roles played by pottery


1. Cold winters, hot soups and frozen clay: understanding the emergence of ceramic traditions across the Circumpolar North Kevin Gibbs and Peter Jordan; 2. Why did northern foragers make pottery?: Investigating the role of incipient Jomon ceramics within wider hunter-gatherer subsistence strategies in prehistoric Japan Junzo Uchiyama; 3. Vessels on the Vitim: 'Neolithic' ceramics in eastern Siberia V. M. Vetrov and P. N. Hommel; 4. Maritime nomads of the Baltic Sea: ceramic traditions, collective identities and prehistoric cuisine Sven Isaksson, Kevin Gibbs, and Peter Jordan; 5. The paradox of pottery in the remote Kuril Islands Erik Gjesfjeld; 6. Understanding the function of container technologies in prehistoric SW Alaska Marjolein Admiraal and Rick Knecht; 7. Ethnographic and archaeological perspectives on the use life of Northwest Alaskan pottery Shelby Anderson; 8. An exploration of arctic ceramic and soapstone cookware technologies and food preparation systems Liam Frink and Karen Harry; 9. Ceramic use by middle and late woodland foragers of the Maritime Foragers Michael Deal, Thomas Farrell, Latonia Hartery, Alison Harris and Michael Sanders; 10. Prestige foods and the adoption of pottery by Subarctic foragers Mathew Boyd, Megan Wady, Andrew Lints, Clarence Surette and Scott Hamilton; 11. Use of ceramic technologies by circumpolar hunter-gatherers: current progress and future research prospects Brian Hayden.


Kevin Gibbs, Peter Jordan, Junzo Uchiyama, V. M. Vetrov, P. N. Hommel, Sven Isaksson, Erik Gjesfjeld, Marjolein Admiraal, Rick Knecht, Shelby Anderson, Liam Frink, Karen Harry, Michael Deal, Thomas Farrell, Latonia Hartery, Alison Harris, Michael Sanders, Mathew Boyd, Megan Wady, Andrew Lints, Clarence Surette, Scott Hamilton, Brian Hayden

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