Pottery use-alteration as an indicator of socioeconomic status: An ethnoarchaeological study of the Gamo of Ethiopia.
The use of a pottery vessel leaves markers on the ceramic wall that can inform archaeologists how the vessel functioned in the past. At present, archaeologists have little information for understanding how use-alteration reflects the complex nature of ceramic function and socioeconomic status. I conducted a 2-year ethnoarchaeological research project among the Gamo people of southwestern Ethiopia, who continue to produce and use pottery on a daily basis. This research indicates that interior surface attrition occurs primarily on pottery vessels used in wealthy households because of fermentation processes from high-status foods. Thus, the Gamo example suggests that there is a relationship between ceramic use-alteration and household socioeconomic status.
Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers
Arthur, J.W. (2002). Pottery use-alteration as an indicator of socioeconomic status: An ethnoarchaeological study of the Gamo of Ethiopia. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 9(4), 331-355.
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