Native American history

Feeding Stonehenge – a view from the laboratory

Large pottery sherd from Durrington Walls

So, today is another day of laboratory work for me. I work as a research associate in the BioArCh group at the Department of Archaeology, University of York. I am part of a large team of archaeologists working on the AHRC funded Feeding Stonehenge project, which is investigating the provisioning and consumption patterns of people who lived at Neolithic Durrington Walls – the settlement site associated with the construction of Stonehenge. My role in the project is to analyse the distinctive Grooved Ware pottery for food residues and to see if there were differences in the types of food products that were being consumed by different households, and to see whether certain animals were selected for feasting. I have already looked at over 300 individual pottery sherds, and today I’ll be analysing another 10-20. I’ll also be supervising undergraduate students who have recently started their dissertation projects, working on pottery from other archaeological sites. One student is carrying out work on modern reference pottery that has been used to cook and process marine animals. The results from these experimental studies can be used to help us interpret what we find in archaeological pottery. The day starts off by coming into the lab and switching on the kit in the fume hood – we have to heat the samples to 70 degrees so I have to do this first so it gets up to the right temperature. Then it’s time for the first coffee of the day….


Johannes Kolb Archaeology and Education Project

Today, July 29th  we are in the lab at the University of South Carolina in Columbia washing artifacts from our two week field season in March 2011.  Our site has evidence from Ice Age hunters on up into the 20th century and everything in between.  We have all the Native American cultures known in South Carolina, USA.  These are followed in time by an early 18th century German American occupation when Johannes Kolb and his family moved here in 1737.  During the 19th century there was a slave occupation and a saw mill and loggers camp in the very early 20th century.

Since 1997 we have been working with volunteers in excavating 50cm squares and one 2 meter square in every 5 meter block in order to obtain a 17% over all sample of the site.

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