Exhibit Specimen 2
In the few centuries prior to contact with Europeans, the Mackenzie Inuit manufactured a range of earthen containers. These included conical pots such as this specimen which was found by Dr. Robert McGhee of the Archaeological Survey of Canada in 1970 at the Radio Creek site (NhTr-1), situated near the mouth of the East Branch of the Mackenzie River in the Canadian Northwest Territories.
A remarkable feature of this pottery is that it is more of a cement than a ceramic. This is the result of using a variety of organic materials in the manufacturing process, including blood, along with sand and small gravel as tempering materials. In this fashion, the high temperatures and prolonged firing were unnecessary in order produce quite usable receptacles. This particular pot was cracked during use, and an attempt was made to repair it by drilling holes on either side of the crack. This would have been lashed lightly and the crack covered over with some waterproofing compound.
1974 Beluga Hunters. An archaeological reconstruction of the history and culture of the Mackenzie Delta Kittegaryumiut. Newfoundland Social and Economic Studies No.13. University of Toronto Press, Toronto.
1994 Going to Pot: A Technological Overview of North American Arctic Ceramics. In Threads of Arctic Prehistory: Papers in Honour of William E. Taylor, Jr., edited by D. Morrison and J.-L. Pilon, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Archaeological Survey of Canada Mercury Series Paper 149:35-56.
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