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Research Arctic Centre Outreach IMAKA Activiteiten overzicht

25 maart 2019: Lezing Marjolein Admiraal

What's cooking in prehistoric Alaska?

When an archaeologist thinks of pottery, an image of prehistoric farmers in a temperate climate zone is usually what comes to mind. Certainly not a hunter-gatherer culture living in the remotest areas of Alaska some 3.000 years ago. Nonetheless, prehistoric peoples all around the circumpolar north produced and used pottery for thousands of years. Until very recently no research had been done on the reasons why these Arctic peoples used pottery. This is however, a very interesting question because the Arctic environment and climate is not well-suited for pottery production. A lack of trees makes firing pottery difficult, and the cold winters and damp summers make drying the clay nearly impossible. One can only conclude that pottery must have been an important tool for these people, why else would they have gone through the considerable trouble of making and maintaining ceramic pots in this region?

Why was pottery used in prehistoric Alaska? This is the main research question raised in this lecture. To answer this question, it is important to know when pottery was introduced in the region and under what circumstances that happened, but even more so it is important to understand what the pottery was used for. To investigate the function of Alaskan pottery more than a hundred pots were tested by organic residue analysis, a method that allows for the molecular identification of ancient food residues. This makes it possible to see what people were cooking in prehistoric Alaska.

In this lecture PhD researcher Marjolein Admiraal of the University of Groningen Arctic Centre will explain how pottery came to be used in Alaska some 3.000 years ago. Furthermore, she will elaborate on the methods used for her research project and will share some preliminary results as well. Finally, she will share some exciting stories about her research travels to the Last Frontier.

Wanneer: 25 maart 2019

Hoe laat: 19:30 uur

Waar: Aweg 30, Groningen - ingang Herman Colleniusstraat

Toegang: € 2,00; studenten € 1,00

Laatst gewijzigd:22 mei 2019 11:08