Revealing invisible stews: New results of organic residue analyses of beveled rim bowls from the late Chalcolithic site of Shakhi Kora, Kurdistan region of Iraq

Elsa Perruchini, Claudia Glatz, Synnøve Gravdal Heimvik, Robin Bendrey, Mette Marie Hald, Francesco Del Bravo, Salh Mohammed Sameen, Jaime Toney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Beveled Rim Bowls (BRBs) are the most iconic and well-known vessel type of ancient Southwest Asia. Roughly and carelessly produced, these conical bowls are attested in their thousands at 4th millennium BCE sites from southern Iraq and the Persian Gulf to the highlands of eastern Turkey and Iran. Questions regarding their function and relationship with emergent state institutions have stood at the centre of nearly a century of debates about the nature of early Mesopotamian urbanism and the so-called Uruk Expansion. In this paper we present the results of organic residue analyses of 10 BRBs from the site of Shakhi Kora in the Sirwan/Upper Diyala River Valley in the Kurdistan Region of north-east Iraq. Our analytical results challenge traditional interpretations that see BRBs as containers of cereal-based rations and bread moulds. The presence of meat- and potentially also dairy-based foods in the Shakhi Kora vessels lends support to multi-purpose explanations and points to local processes of appropriation of vessel meaning and function.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103730
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Volume48
Early online date18 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Beveled Rim Bowls
  • Late Chalcolithic
  • Mesopotamia
  • Uruk expansion
  • early complex societies
  • urbanism
  • food and food practices

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