Culinary crafts and foods in southwestern Ethiopia: An ethnoarchaeological study of Gamo groundstones and pottery.
Few ethnoarchaeological studies have combined the production and use of groundstones and pottery as indicators of household variation in subsistence and socioeconomics. This ethnoarchaeological study explores how the Gamo people who live in southwestern Ethiopia interact with their culinary tools of pottery and groundstones. One of the unique cultural features of the Gamo is their strict caste system, which forces artisans such as potters and groundstone makers into a full-time specialization. This paper uses a chaîne opératoire analysis regarding groundstone and pottery production and then addresses their use by drawing from household studies from three Gamo communities. The analysis discusses the role that social hierarchy can have on cooking and craft variation within households. Thus, these artisans bring to life crafts that give the Gamo tools to create their daily subsistence, and these tools and foods allow us to explore two key archaeological issues: subsistence and socioeconomic variation of people's households.
Arthur, J.W. (2014). Culinary crafts and foods in southwestern Ethiopia: An ethnoarchaeological study of Gamo groundstones and pottery. African Archaeological Review, 31, 131-168. doi: 10.1007/s10437-014-9148-5
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