New Perspectives on Experimental Archaeology: Surface Treatments and Thermal Response of the Clay Cooking Pot

Michael Brian Schiffer, James M. Skibo, Tamara C. Boelke, Mark A. Neupert, Meredith Aronson
1994 American Antiquity  
This paper examines pottery technology and change through the eyes of the experimental archaeologist. A new vision is presented of experimental archaeology and the role its findings can play in archaeological explanation. It is argued that the most useful results of experimental archaeology are best obtained with long-term research programs. This perspective is illustrated by a case study of the relations between surface treatments (interior and exterior) and thermal performance in cooking
more » ... The experiments indicate that surface treatments like texturing, organic coatings, and smudging have marked impacts on thermal shock cracking and on thermal spalling in simulated cooking. It is emphasized that the findings of experimental archaeology, expressed as correlates, can be employed in explanations of prehistoric technological change, but only when embedded in more inclusive correlate theories and coupled with the requisite contextual information.
doi:10.2307/281927 fatcat:zw45vo7vz5f57jv3o5pnbsy2s4