Karine Taché
Marie Curie Research Fellow



I completed a BSc and MSc in Anthropology at the Université de Montréal (Québec, Canada) and was awarded my PhD in Archaeology at Simon Fraser University (British Columbia, Canada). My doctoral dissertation, entitled Structure and Regional Diversity of the Meadowood Interaction Sphere, focused one of the earliest and largest interaction spheres established in Northeastern North America and highlighted the important relationship, under certain ecological conditions, between the creation of interaction spheres, the development of prestige technologies, and the emergence of socioeconomic inequalities. In 2008, I moved back to the Universite de Montréal to undertake a postdoctoral research project funded by the FQRSC (Fonds Québéquois de Recherche sur la Société et la Culture). I am currently a Marie Curie postdoctoral research fellow (EU-IIF) in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York, and a member of the BioArCh group. My current research combines archaeological and environmental data with organic residue analysis in order to investigate early pottery uses in Northeastern North America. 




Selected publications

  • Taché, K., (2011) Structure and Regional Diversity of the Meadowood Interaction Sphere. University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology, Memoir No. 48, Ann Arbor.
  • Taché, K., (2011) New Perspectives on Meadowood Trade Items. American Antiquity 76(1):41-79.
  • Burley, D., K. Taché, M. Purser, and J. Balenaivalu, (2011) An Archaeology of Salt Production in Fiji. Antiquity 85(327):187-200.
  • Burley, D., A. Barton, W.R. Dickinson, S.P. Connaughton and K. Taché, (2010) Nukuleka as a Founder Colony for West Polynesian Settlement: New Insights from Recent Excavations. Journal of Pacific Archaeology 1(2): 128-144.
  • Connaughton, S.P., K. Taché and D.V. Burley, (2010) Taupita: A 3000 Year Old Shell Game in the Lapita Cultural Complex of Tonga. Journal of Social Archaeology 10(1): 118-137
  • Taché, K., D. White and S. Seelen (2008) Potential Functions of Vinette I Pottery. Complementary Use of Archaeological and Py-GC/MC Data. Archaeology of Eastern North America 36: 63-90
  • Taché, K. (2008) Review of Potières du Buisson. La Céramique de tradition Melocheville sur le site Hector-Trudel, by C. Gates St-Pierre. Canadian Journal of Archaeology 32(1): 177-181
  • Taché, K. (2005) Explaining Vinette I Pottery Variability: The View from the Batiscan Site, Québec. Canadian Journal of Archaeology 29(2): 165-233
  • Taché, K. and R. Tremblay, (in press) L'île avant la ville: la présence amérindienne ancienne à Montréal. Publication on Montreal Archaeology. Recherches Amérindiennes au Québec, Montréal.



For the past 15 years my research, field, and laboratory experience has focused on the archaeology of Northeastern aboriginal groups. My primary research interests have centred on major cultural developments that characterize the Archaic-Woodland transition (4000-3000 BP)  in Northeastern North America, notably: i) the creation of extensive interaction networks and ii) the adoption of pottery.


Early Pottery Uses in Northeastern North America

The objective of my current research project is to identify patterns of early pottery use in Northeastern North America, where hunter-fisher-gatherers began producing and using ceramics about 3000 years ago. Traditionally within archaeology, the earliest pots were associated with the development of agriculture and village life. However, accumulating evidence of pre-agricultural pottery in many parts of the world, including Northeastern North America, have challenged these assumptions. If the need to process specific foodstuffs still dominates debates over the initial adoption of pottery, the underlying conditions of this technological innovation are still poorly understood. For hunter-fisher-gatherers, clay containers may have fulfilled various functions such as the processing of inedible nuts and seeds, the rendering of high energy oils from aquatic resources or the extraction of fat and grease from the bones of terrestrial animals. This study will test the hypotheses that one or several of these resources were processed in early pots by targeting a large number of potsherds coming from a variety of archaeological and ecological contexts and combining different methods for organic residue analysis (bulk stable isotope, lipids, and microfossils analysis). Ultimately, results obtained in Northeastern North America will be compared with data from other parts of the world also characterized by pre-agricultural pottery use in temperate climates rich in seasonally available wild resources: (e.g., Northern Europe and Japan). In the end, I hope to contribute to early pottery studies by incorporating organic residue analysis within a wider archaeological framework that also include typological, technological, and contextual data on ceramics, information on the spatial distribution and physical settings of archaeological sites, and complementary information on the economy and social organisation of early pottery-using communities. 




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Contact details

Dr Karine Taché
University of York
B/S Block, Wentworth Way
YO10 5DD

Tel: (44) 1904 328824
Fax: (44) 1904 433902