Cooking traces on Copper Age pottery from central Italy: An integrated approach comprising use wear analysis, spectroscopic analysis and experimental archaeology

Vanessa Forte*, Stella Nunziante Cesaro**, Laura Medeghini***

* McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, CB2 3ER Cambridge, UK

** Scientific Methodologies Applied to Cultural Heritage (SMATCH), ISMN-CNR, Sapienza University of Rome, P.le A. Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy

*** Department of Earth Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, P.le A. Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy

This contribution discusses the results of an integrated approach of use wear analysis, spectroscopic analysis and experimental archaeology, applied for the investigation of the actual use of selected ceramic vessels, taken from domestic Copper Age contexts in the modern Rome area.
This study is based upon the consideration of a vessel as a tool, used during everyday life and thus reflecting human activities and social behaviours. To this end, the paper here presented proposes an interpretation of the actual use activities which led to the modification of prehistoric vessels. The methodology of this study integrates the traditional approach to ceramic use wear studies, based on experimental and ethnoarchaeological studies, with principles of tribology, along with the application of a dedicated experimental framework which enabled the development of a detailed collection of comparative use wear. Moreover, the application of spectroscopic analysis provided preliminary data related to the charred encrustations found inside the archaeological specimens. These data, when combined with use wear, palaeobotanical remains and archaeological preserved structures, aided interpretation of the archaeological ceramic vessels as cooking pots.

ISSN 2352-409X,
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.12.052.

Schermata 2018-07-07 alle 20.07.36

Cite this article as:
Vanessa Forte, Stella Nunziante Cesaro, Laura Medeghini, Cooking traces on Copper Age pottery from central Italy: An integrated approach comprising use wear analysis, spectroscopic analysis and experimental archaeology, Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, volume 18, 2018, pages 121-138

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