Brewing beer: status, wealth and ceramic use alteration among the Gamo of south-western Ethiopia

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

John Arthur

Document Type


Publication Date


Date Issued

January 2000

Date Available

February 2012


Ethnoarchaeological research among the Gamo people of south-western Ethiopia indicates that pottery vessels used for beer fermentation have characteristic interior surface attrition. The Gamo’s strict social hierarchy orchestrates who produces and consumes beer: ritual-sacrificer households are able to produce and consume more beer than non-ritual-sacrificer households and this pattern also was found in the ceramic inventories of the two types of household. The Gamo example suggests that the study of ceramic use alteration can be an additional tool in identifying the production of beer, the essential ingredient of feasting.


Abstract only. Full-text article is available only through licensed access provided by the publisher. Published in World Archaeology, 34(3), 516-528. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0043824021000026486. Members of the USF System may access the full-text of the article through the authenticated link provided.




Routledge & Kegan Paul

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.