These fire-cracked rock have been refitted to allow for analysis of the distribution of the FCR across the archaeological site on which they were found.
Research conducted on these large fire-cracked rock features have provided archaeologists with comparative data allowing for analysis of the function of these features. At the Kettle Creek East site (36Cn199) a series of seventeen features were examined and radiocarbon samples were obtained on ten of the seventeen features. Nutshells of hickory, hazelnut and walnut as well as calcined (heavily burned) bone fragments were sampled for the resulting radiocarbon dates. Assays from these samples produced evidence of two occupation episodes ca. 3400 BP and ca 3050 BP, placing both of these in the Transitional period.On the left is a wide, flat bottomed basin roasting pit. On the right, is a shallow basin hearth.
Functional interpretations of these seventeen features based on previous research by archaeologists provided a comparative model for identifying the function of these fire-cracked rock features. Most of the features were identified as hearths, some smaller hearths did not contain fire-cracked rock, larger hearths were classified based on their shallow basin shapes with an abundance of charcoal and the size of the fire-cracked rock fragments, two of the remaining features contained rock that were more angular- suggesting a repeated heating and rapid cooling associated with stone boiling. The video link at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrlQwCxfvuU clearly demonstrates this process.
Petraglia, Michael, Dennis Knepper, and John Rissetto. "The Nature of Prehistoric Activities on Kettle Creek, An Upland Tributary of the West Branch of the Susquehanna." Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology 14 (1998): 13-38.