Investigating Stumpware: Evidence for Pre-Mississippian Nixtamalization in Illinois

Alleen Betzenhauser, Sarah Haken, Victoria Potter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Stumpware is an unusual ceramic utensil that appears abruptly in the early Terminal Late Woodland period (ca. AD 900) in the American Bottom region of Illinois. Several functions have been postulated but the timing of its intro-duction (coincident with the beginning of maize horticulture in the region) and the prevalence of white residue are suggestive of their role in the produc-tion of quicklime for use in the nixtamalization of corn to make hominy (see Benchley 2003). We present the initial results of our efforts to test this hy-pothesis by creating replica stumpware and using them to convert limestone to quicklime.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProgram and Abstracts - 61st Annual Meeting
StatePublished - 2017


  • ISAS


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