Early Pottery in the Southeast
Tradition and Innovation in Cooking Technology
A Dan Josselyn Memorial Publication
Among southeastern Indians pottery was an innovation that enhanced the economic value of native foods and the efficiency of food preparation. But even though pottery was available in the Southeast as early as 4,500 years ago, it took nearly two millenia before it was widely used. Why would an innovation of such economic value take so long to be adopted?
The answer lies in the social and political contexts of traditional cooking technology. Sassaman's book questions the value of using technological traits alone to mark temporal and spatial boundaries of prehistoric cultures and shows how social process shapes the prehistoric archaeological record.
A superb analysis of the technological development of early pottery in the Southeast. . . . An excellent book. . . . Buy it, read it, and learn a great deal about early pottery and Late Archaic culture in the Southeast between 5000 and 3000 B.P.'
It is rewarding to see that southeastern ceramicists have moved beyond the sherd- and attribute-counting stage. Sassaman's ideas on why and how early ceramics diffused across the Gulf Coastal Plain will provide archaeologists with food for thought for years to come.'
Ned J. Jenkins, Alabama Historical Commission
Kenneth E. Sassaman is Research Archaeologist at the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology.
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