Skip to main content
Article
A Clay Source Provenance Survey in Northwest Alaska: Late Holocene Ceramic Production in the Arctic
Journal of Field Archaeology (2016)
  • Shelby L. Anderson, Portland State University
Abstract
Ceramic compositional analysis can contribute to study of late Holocene Arctic hunter-gatherer social interaction through reconstruction of past ceramic distribution patterns. The results of an ethnographically informed clay source survey in Northwest Alaska are presented here. The survey provided contextual data on clay depositional environments, clay variability, and local environmental factors that influenced pre-contact clay availability. Geochemical analysis of clays and tempers clarified the location of ceramic production zones. Concurrence between survey results and ethnographic data highlights the persistence of clay knowledge despite post-contact absence of pottery making. This research demonstrates that ethnographically informed source survey can aid in interpreting ceramic geochemical data and yield important insights into pre-contact ceramic production processes.
Keywords
  • Ceramics,
  • Provenance (Geology),
  • Holocene Epoch,
  • Clay minerals,
  • Sedimentation & deposition
Publication Date
April, 2016
DOI
10.1080/00934690.2016.1167488
Publisher Statement
© Trustees of Boston University 2016
Citation Information
Anderson, S. (2016). A Clay Source Provenance Survey in Northwest Alaska: Late Holocene Ceramic Production in the Arctic. Journal of Field Archaeology .