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The role of the husking tray in the late Neolithic communities of Northern Mesopotamia. A first experimental analysis

By Sergio Taranto


The subject of this paper is the study of a pottery shape known as the “husking tray”, whose functional interpretation is the main topic of my doctoral research. The husking trays are usually very large trays, made of a coarsely straw-tempered clay, characterized by a very wide oval base and low sides; they were used by the communities living in Northern Mesopotamia during the seventh and the first half of the sixth millennium BC. The most interesting feature of this kind of vessel is the presence of incisions and impressions on their interior surface. Several scholars have suggested various hypotheses about how the husking trays could have been used and what specific function they could have had, but these suggestions have remained merely theories so far. In the paper it will show a first experimental analysis which has revealed that the husking trays could have been pans used to bake bread and the incisions/impressions on their inner surface could have been anti-adhesive arrangements

Topics: Late Neolithic, Hassuna, Pottery, Experimental Archaeology, Cereals, Oven, Bread
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Year: 2020
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Provided by: OpenstarTs
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