Undergraduates at work

Professor Michael Stewart’s course, Methods in Archaeology, asks students to choose a semester long project in order that they may gain archaeological insight through practical hands-on experience.

Ben Mejia, a junior at Temple and an anthropology major, is making pots in the lab as part of a larger project examining archaeological foodways.  He aims to recreate carbonization residue patterns left by wet and dry cooking.

Ben’s project has 3 parts: processing clay and making pots by hand (shown below), firing the pots, and finally, using the handmade vessels in experimental outdoor cooking.

These great photos were taken by fellow student, Emily Fendya.  Emily is also a junior and an anthropology major.  She is interested in ceramics and prehistoric milling.

handling clay

The clay comes from Timbuctoo, NJ.  The soil is soaked in water and worked by hand to remove impurities.

making a pot

tools used

Professor Stewart working with Ben

two pots drying

This weekend, after the pots have been  allowed to dry in the lab for a few days, Ben will be firing them at a Primitive Technologies Day in New Jersey.

Great work Ben and Emily and thanks for sharing your lab experience!

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