Dr. Nora Reber - OSA Lecture Series

The Chemical Trowel: Using absorbed pottery residue analysis to interpret pottery use at Brunswick Town-Fort Anderson


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Presenter: Dr. Nora A. Reber, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Archaeologists use a range of tools to find out about the past.  Absorbed pottery residue analysis uses Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry to identify and interpret the contents of unglazed pots from archaeological sites.  Excavations at the Barracks West of Battery A at Brunswick Town – Fort Anderson produced a range of unglazed pottery made and used by Native Americans, slaves, and European Americans.  Fifteen sherds and one soil sample were selected for residue analysis.  We will discuss the interpretations of the different potsherds, and the differences between residues from Native American pottery, Colonoware produced by enslaved Africans, and wheel-turned earthenware probably produced by European Americans.  We will then compare these residues to those from other sites to look at the different ways that pottery was used in the Barracks area, and at other sites along the coastal Carolinas.


She Changed the World and Trowel Blazers: Women Making History

She Changed the World Logo

The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. As part of a national campaign to commemorate this historic event, North Carolina’s Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) is coordinating a campaign titled “She Changed the World: NC Women Breaking Barriers” through November 2020. Our goal is to share and celebrate the achievements of ALL North Carolina women and illuminate North Carolinian women's pivotal role in breaking down barriers in our state and the nation. In honor of this campaign, the OSA will be highlighting the accomplishments of North Carolina women past and present whose lives have been revealed through archaeology and those who have influenced the development and future of our field through the “Trowel Blazers: Women Making History” initiative.