Defining pottery use and exploitation of natural products at Clairvaux XIV during the Middle Neolithic

Léa Drieu, Sigrid Mirabaud, Mélanie Roffet-Salque, Thierry Blasco, Pierre Pétrequin, Anne-Marie Pétrequin, Richard P Evershed, Martine Regert

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

155 Downloads (Pure)


Investigating pottery function requires optimal preservation of both ceramic vessels and organic residues related to vessel use. If these criteria are met then opportunities emerge for combining macroscopic observations, typological classification, and capacity measurements and molecular and isotopic proxies (GC, GC-MS, and GC-C-IRMS) to explore vessel use and resource exploitation. The exceptional ceramic assemblage of hundreds of vessels excavated from the Middle Neolithic site of Clairvaux XIV (Jura, France, IVth millennium B.C.) offered such an opportunity, with a wide diversity of vessel shapes and extraordinary preservation of lipids. Interrogating the lipid residues together with typological analyses revealed a complex system of ceramic vessel use. Despite the scarcity of aquatic products, a wide diversity of natural substances has been detected: ruminant adipose fats, dairy products, plants substances, and beeswax. These commodities were processed in specific vessels with three main different functions: cooking vessels of various volumes, serving dishes for animal products, and dedicated vessels for dairy product processing and consumption.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSettling waterscapes in Europe
Subtitle of host publicationthe archaeology of Neolithic and Bronze Age pile-dwellings
PublisherPropylaeum Publishing
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-948465-82-7
ISBN (Print)978-3-948465-83-4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2022
EventAnnual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists - Vilnius, Lithuania
Duration: 31 Aug 20164 Sept 2016
Conference number: 22


ConferenceAnnual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists
Abbreviated titleEAA2016
Internet address


  • Lake dwelling site
  • Middle Neolithic
  • vessel use
  • organic residues
  • lipids
  • carbon isotopes
  • dairying


Dive into the research topics of 'Defining pottery use and exploitation of natural products at Clairvaux XIV during the Middle Neolithic'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this