Ontario Archaeological Society (London Chapter) Talk: Steven Dorland

When and Where

Thursday, December 10, 2020 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Online via Zoom


Dr. Steven Dorland, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto


The Ontario Archaeological Society, London Chapter, presents:

"Let’s Start with Something Small: An evaluation of social learning and scaling practices in Great Lakes potting communities during the Late Woodland"
Dr. Steven Dorland, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto

Thursday, December 10, 2020
7:30 pm
Online via Zoom
Please email jrkeron@yahoo.com for the link to the Zoom meeting session.

This research analyses decorative data from Late Woodland ceramic assemblages to investigate scaling practices and its role in learning experiences. Ceramic samples from two Middle Ontario Iroquoian villages (Antrex, Wellington) and five Late Ontario Iroquoian villages (Kloch, Smith-Pagerie, Garoga, Keffer, Draper) were divided into four size classes based on a neck diameter/thickness ratio: Very Small, Small, Medium, Large. A motif distribution analysis and a microstylistic study of element width were then conducted to evaluate the relationship between decorative practices and size dimensions. The results of the motif distribution indicate differences associated with decorating smaller and larger pots, as well as decorative similarities. The results from Student t and ANOVA statistics indicate statistical similarity of element width means for Very Small pots. Overall, the findings lead me to suggest that beginner potters began their pottery experience by focusing on making smaller vessels, which allowed them to establish a basis for achieving pottery proficiency later in their lives. This paper proposes a methodology to strengthen understanding of social learning traditions in the Great Lakes that is applicable across spatiotemporal contexts.

Contact Information


Ontario Archaeological Society (London Chapter)