12. Ancient Clay Containers to Process, Cook and Preserve Food
Gloria London [+]
Clay pots, both large and small as well as open and closed, were suitable for the processing, preparation, cooking, storing, and serving of food. In Cyprus, ovens begin as fired pots that are placed on their side and encased in mud and brick. The same oven could bake breads, meat and vegetables in deep globular cooking pots. Cookware in particular was multi-functional and was used for many of the processing activities related to food. Round bases were beneficial in traditional and ancient societies. Flat-bottomed ceramics are less desirable for multiple reasons. Bases round or flat can be manufactured in a number of ways. Bases often preserve evidence of how the pot was made, in contrast to well-smoothed rims and upper bodies. While people accustomed to flat stoves and flat-based pots are dubious about round-bottomed pots, stands made of wood, clay, reused pots, and metal easily accommodate traditional and ancient pots. With a short uselife of slightly over two years and the rapid replacement of cookware, archaeologists nevertheless can detect features characteristic of each time period. An analysis of overall vessel proportions and morphological features might lead to even further differentiation within each time period.