Thursday, July 3, 2008


There is a Chinese proverb that says, "The usefulness of the cup is in its emptiness." I'm sure it has deeper meaning than at surface, so it is with containers. Containers are a valued commodity in a primitive situation. Have you ever noticed all the containers you have in your's staggering!

Pottery was a significant technological innovation when it was discovered, or introduced, for cooking & food storage. Here you had a meduim that could be formed and shaped to meet a variety of needs. Archaeologists estimate it was around 2000 years BP that pottery made its debut in Nebraska, about the same time the bow & arrow were replacing the dart & atlatl.

Pawnee had made their encampents on the bluffs, overlooking the Platte River, across from
nowadays Fremont, Nebraska. While at a Boy Scout camp, on the bluffs, I happened on a vein of reddish clay... which I would assume the Pawnee would have utilized. The clay worked ok, so I mixed it with charred mussel shells for temper, and fired some pots. I admit that I am not the best potter, but they were functional and served well to cook some buffalo meat, jerusalem artichokes, and indian potatoes that were gathered at another event. As with all pots in use, they are broken in accidents, or spall out with uneven heating. But, they are ground and recycled as temper in the next pots.

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