Early pottery function in NE Siberia investigated through organic residue analysis

2020 - Ongoing
An early example of pottery from Siberia sits upon a stand. It has decoration around the rim.

The use of pottery by the hunter-gatherer cultures of Northeast Asia is a topic of increasing interest. Recent studies have highlighted that early pottery in Japan, the Russian far east, and Alaska was used to process aquatic resources. The location of most early pottery sites on major river systems in Northeast Siberia hint at a similar use.

This is the first study to investigate the characteristics of pottery function in Northeast Siberia using direct methods. Through lipid residue and stable isotope analysis we aim to identify the function of pottery from 34 archaeological sites ranging from Yakutia, to the Upper Kolyma River, Kamchatka and Chukotka. We will investigate patterns in pottery function in this vast region throughout the past 6,000 years.

Furthermore, by modelling radiocarbon dates of pottery sites in Northeast Siberia we hope to shed light on the dispersal of ceramic technology and the role of the environment and vessel function for pottery dispersal.

Project details

This project is funded by the University of Groningen - Faculty of Arts and led by Marjolein Admiraal of the University of York and Peter Jordan of the University of Groningen - Arctic Centre.

Project collaborators

Dr Marjolein Admiraal
BioArCh, Department of Archaeology, University of York, UK
Placeholder image
Prof. Peter Jordan
Arctic Centre, Groningen Institute of Archaeology, University of Groningen, Netherlands