Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Lara Homsey-Messer

Second Advisor

Benjamin Ford

Third Advisor

Kinorea Tigri


The use of heated-stones in cookery, social rituals, and daily life is an important technology in the repertoire of human food and lifeways. Archaeological assemblages often contain high percentages of heated-stones, or fire-cracked rock (FCR), but despite its frequency in archaeological collections, the full diagnostic potential of FCR is infrequently explored, specifically regarding its use among the Monongahela peoples of western Pennsylvania. This research analyzed over 300 pieces of sandstone FCR from three Late Prehistoric Monongahela villages in western Pennsylvania. Actualistic experimentation was conducted under the guidance of a Native American informant using local materials to recreate early heated-stone technologies. This study seeks to improve our interpretation of FCR recovered during archaeological investigations through an analysis of morphological characteristics, and to improve our understanding of the foodways practiced by communities living in western Pennsylvania in the years preceding European colonization.