Steatite Bowl Fragment

Steatite Bowl Fragment
Curved body fragment of a very large soapstone vessel.
From archaeological evidence, we know that the Wampanoag and other Indigenous people who lived just after the Ice Age roasted their meats over cooking fires. Once the Ice Age glaciers melted, many soapstone (steatite) quarries were exposed; there are 20-30 known steatite quarries in Southern New England. Wampanoag people collected it because, when wet, they could shape the soft stone into bowls or other items with harder stone tools like the quartz knife pictured to the right. Since it does not appear that the Wampanoag were manufacturing pottery at this time, they previously only used soft-sided vessels like baskets, birch bark containers, or hide bags. Being able to and cook and store liquid foods more easily with stone vessels helped change the Wampanoag diet to include more stews.
Object ID
Stone, Steatite
Weight and Dimensions
Field Collection Date

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