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Archaeo News 

9 October 2007
Learn how ancient people cooked

Clay pots. Stones with holes in the center. Large, open hearths with cast-iron pots. Pits filled with roasting game. Each of these cooking techniques will be part of an archaeology field day — A Taste of Archaeology: How Food Has Influenced the Archaeological Record — Oct. 20 at Historic Brattonsville (South Carolina, USA).
     "Food tells you about another aspect of our culture like music or art or the way we dress or how we build our houses," said Nena Rice with the S.C. Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology. With live demonstrations of items such as soapstone cookware or open pits, we gain "a fuller sense of the realness of everyday living," said Scott Jones of Carlton, Ga., an exhibitor and archaeologist specializing in primitive technology (mediaprehistoria.com). "A lot of times, the idea of primitive technology is that it sort of borders on survival,” when it is actually far richer than that, Jones said.
     Field day visitors will have the opportunity to observe cooking with hot rocks. Did you know early cooks drove holes through disk-shaped stones that they then heated in hot coals. The hot stones were placed in pots of liquid to bring the pot to an instant boil. Digging an open pit, filling it with hot stones and creating a delicacy to eat several hours later. You could call it a prehistoric crockpot. Observing tools such as an atlatl. This prehistoric device was used like a lever to lengthen a person’s arm. Visitors to the field day also will be able to make bricks, grind corn and take part in a mock archaeological dig, learning how different layers of dirt reveal deep secrets. You can even bring artifacts for an archaeologist’s evaluation.
     A Taste Of Archaeology: The 20th Annual South Carolina Archaeology Fall Field Day, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 20 in Historic Brattonsville, 1444 Brattonsville Road, McConnells. Go to chmuseums.org for directions and additional information about the site. Cost: $8 adults; $6 seniors; $3 students; 4 and younger, free.
Source: The State (6 October 2006)

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