Archaeological Methods for Assessing Prehistoric Fermentation

by Crystal A Dozier

Institution: Texas A&M University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Archaeological Methods; Microfossils; Fermentation; Palynology; Ancient Starch; Experimental Archaeology; Alcohol Production; Archaeology
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2122401
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1969.1/156996


This thesis reviews and expands established methodologies for recognizing fermentation in the archaeological record. Ethnographic correlates, organic residue / lipid analyses, ancient DNA, palynology, and starch analysis have been used to detect evidence of brewing. Also presented are results of two experiments in fermentation microfossil research. The first indicates that pollen profiles are unchanged through the brewing process. The second illustrates that malted maize starch gelatinizes rapidly during chicha production. This study concludes with suggestions for a research strategy for extracting maximum information about the possibility of fermentation from residue adhering to ceramics. Advisors/Committee Members: Thoms, Alston V (advisor), Bryant, Vaughn M (committee member), Cobb, B. Greg (committee member).