Faculty Publications


Culinary crafts and foods in southwestern Ethiopia: An ethnoarchaeological study of Gamo groundstones and pottery.

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

John Arthur

Document Type


Publication Date


Date Issued

January 2014

Date Available

August 2014




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.


Abstract only. Full-text article is available only through licensed access provided by the publisher. Published in African Archaeological Review, 31, 131-168. doi: 10.1007/s10437-014-9148-5. Members of the USF System may access the full-text of the article through the authenticated link provided.





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.