Pottery manufacture analysis : an experimental means for assessing technological continuity in the Altamont region Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/n009w629k

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  • Pottery manufacture analysis, an aspect of experimental archeology, is developed and used to compare and test through experimental reconstruction, data on pottery from the Altamont region (southern Alberta, Canada and northcentral Montana, U.S.). The analysis uses major variables of (1) manufacturing process and (2) product characteristics to formulate models of the technologies tested. The results indicate both technological continuity and discontinuity between pottery complexes of the prehistoric archeological record (A.D. 1500-1700) and the historic ethnographic accounts (A.D. 1800-1900). Three ethnographically described pottery traditions (Handbuilt, Rawhide Mould, and Ground Mould) of the Blackfoot Tribe are compared to three prehistoric complexes (Cluny, Intermountain, and Saskatchewan Basin). Pottery manufacture analysis indicated: technological discontinuity between historic Handbuilt Tradition and prehistoric Cluny Complex; technological continuity between historic Rawhide Mould Tradition and prehistoric Intermountain Ware; and technological continuity between historic Ground Mould Tradition and prehistoric Saskatchewan Basin Complex. Using the technique of experimental replication, it has been shown that pottery may be manufactured successfully using rawhide and ground moulds and that moulded pottery traditions are of greater antiquity than has been previously accepted. Blackfoot ethnographic accounts of pottery manufacture are shown to be usable and useful sources of information. The pottery described in these accounts is of traditions represented in prehistoric complexes. These traditions were sophisticated adaptations to the life-ways of nomadic bison hunters of the Altamont region. Experimental replication with pottery manufacture analysis allows reasonable hypotheses to be advanced concerning the spatial and temporal relationships between cultural groups inhabiting the Great Plains.
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