2022 Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) Symposium

Location

ScholarSpace, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Presentation Type

Open Access Poster Presentation

Document Type

poster

Abstract

The research conducted regards whether or not Native Americans understood how to create maple syrup before the influence of Europeans. Through the usage of Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy (GC-MS), the identity of different maple syrup organic residues within pottery can be determined.1 These organic residues tell us more about Native American history and culture. An analysis of organic residues was performed on the following types of pottery: proof of concept and weathered (an analog of the proof of concept). Organic residues were able to be identified within the proof of concept but not in the weathered pottery. This research also helps to understand the usage of organic residues within archeological and chemical research as there is debate on their reliability.2

Pieces of Native American pottery were found in Hartman Reserve, a nature center located in Cedar Falls, Iowa. It is theorized that the area, when occupied by Native Americans, was a maple camp. This can be speculated as the area contained large amounts of fire cracked rock (rock that has been broken through deliberate heating) and small amounts of weaponry/stone tools.3 A cool environment, maple trees, and fire cracked rock are all indicators that the reserve was used for maple syrup production.

Start Date

29-7-2022 11:00 AM

End Date

29-7-2022 1:30 PM

Event Host

Summer Undergraduate Research Program, University of Northern Iowa

Faculty Advisor

Joshua Sebree

Department

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

File Format

application/pdf

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Jul 29th, 11:00 AM Jul 29th, 1:30 PM

Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy Analysis of Native American Pottery for Maple Syrup Residue

ScholarSpace, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

The research conducted regards whether or not Native Americans understood how to create maple syrup before the influence of Europeans. Through the usage of Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy (GC-MS), the identity of different maple syrup organic residues within pottery can be determined.1 These organic residues tell us more about Native American history and culture. An analysis of organic residues was performed on the following types of pottery: proof of concept and weathered (an analog of the proof of concept). Organic residues were able to be identified within the proof of concept but not in the weathered pottery. This research also helps to understand the usage of organic residues within archeological and chemical research as there is debate on their reliability.2

Pieces of Native American pottery were found in Hartman Reserve, a nature center located in Cedar Falls, Iowa. It is theorized that the area, when occupied by Native Americans, was a maple camp. This can be speculated as the area contained large amounts of fire cracked rock (rock that has been broken through deliberate heating) and small amounts of weaponry/stone tools.3 A cool environment, maple trees, and fire cracked rock are all indicators that the reserve was used for maple syrup production.