SOUTH CAROLINA COMPLICATED STAMPED

AdamsonComplicated Stamped

 

Research: DePratter and Judge (1986)

Temper: Adamson is tempered with medium sand to medium grit.

Surface Decoration: Surfaces are mostly plain or burnished, with filfot cross and line block complicated stamping also present.

Vessel Form: David Anderson’s report of this research did not specify any vessel forms.

Chronology: This is a Mississippian ware. DePratter and Judge (1986) thought the Adamson Phase dated from 1250 to 1300 AD, based on seriation. Subsequent work by Cable et al (1998) suggests a later date.

Geographic Distribution: Adamson ware is associated with the Mounds of the Wateree River in South Carolina.

Ashley Complicated Stamped

 

Research: David Anderson (1966) noted in his Type Description: Not previously defined. South (1973b: 54-55; 1976: 28-29) noted the presence of an Ashley ware, or series, in his "Indian Pottery Taxonomy for the South Carolina Coast," based on material found at Charles Town Landing (South 1970, 1971). No descriptions of the Ashley types-Ashley Complicated Stamped, Ashley Simple Stamped, Ashley Burnished Plain, and Ashley Corncob impressed have appeared. The general attributes of the ware have been reported, however, and have been widely used to help identify late prehistoric and protohistoric wares. These attributes included:

Temper: Paste highly variable, typically with some small (0.1-1.0 mm) sand inclusions present.

Surface Decoration: No descriptions of the Ashley types-Ashley Complicated Stamped, Ashley Simple Stamped, Ashley Burnished Plain, and Ashley Corncob impressed have appeared. The general attributes of the ware have been reported, however, and have been widely used to help identify late prehistoric and protohistoric wares. These attributes included: carved paddle stamping with enlarged motifs, carelessly applied decorative motifs, burnishing, finger punctated rim strips and folded rims, sloppy incising and corncob impressed types are present. Complicated stamping appears over the exterior of the vessel surface and overstamping is common. Stamp impressions are (typically) bold, with the space between the lands fairly wide (between 3.0 and 5.0 mm). The stamp is often carelessly applied and smeared or overstamped. The design itself is often poorly carved and crude in appearance. Rim strips are common and tend to be folded and finger pinched. Ashley pottery may be confused with both Savannah Complicated Stamped and Pee Dee Complicated Stamped.

Vessel Form: The Ashley series is coiled, but no other vessel form description is given.

Chronology: Ashley pottery belongs to the protohistoric period, Ashley Phase (1600 - 1715 AD). South (1971) reported a date of 1780AD for the ware from Charles Towne Landing. This determination is probably a century too recent, although the standard deviation brings the date in line with the suspected range of the ware. The 1715 terminal date reflects the effective end of Indian occupation in the lower South Carolina Coastal Plain brought about by the Yamassee War.

Geographic Distribution: Poorly documented. An occurrence in the Sea Island area of South Carolina and in the interior along major river drainages appears likely.

Caraway Complicated Stamped

 

Caraway pottery from the Edgar Rogers site (left) and the Yadkin Valley (right)

RESEARCH: Joffre Coe reported the Caraway pottery type at the Doerschuk site in Formative Cultures of the Carolina Piedmont in 1964.

TEMPER: Caraway pottery was tempered with very fine sand and the paste was compact and hard. Coe considered this the best made aboriginal pottery in the area, even having a distinctive ring sound to it, even when broken.

SURFACE DECORACTION: The entire surface was stamped with a carved wooden paddle. Designs appear as curvilinear and perhaps as concentric circles. The rim was everted or simple and might be decorated with incised chevrons with rounded, serrated or flattened lips. The quality of the sherd and the presence of incising would separate Caraway pottery from Swift Creek pottery.

VESSEL FORM: No complete vessels are known to have been recovered.

CHRONOLOGY: The Caraway pottery at the Doerschuk site belonged to the Historic period and dated to AD 1700. The decorated sherds date to the earlier portion of this period while the smoothed and burnished sherds date to the later portion. This pottery is often associated with Caraway points.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: Caraway pottery has been recovered from Late Woodland and Historic sites within the Southern Piedmont region of North Carolina.

Etowah Complicated Stamped

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University of Georgia collections.

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RESEARCH: This type was defined by William Sears in 1958.[i] The type is known from the Etowah Mound complex located on the Etowah River in northwestern Georgia, but was spread over most of Georgia and surrounding areas by the Etowah people.

TEMPER: This is a grit-tempered pottery type.

SURFACE DECORATION: A wide variety of paddle-stamped designs were used to decorate this type, but the diamond design was the most dominant. Other designs included concentric hexagonal shapes with pairs of lines crossed through them, nested diamonds, lined-blocks, filfot crosses, nested squares, and a wide variety of less frequently occurring motifs.

VESSEL FORMS: Known Etowah vessel forms include wide-mouth conoidal jars, globular jars, bowls, and cylindrical vases. Rims were flared, vertical, out-curved, or in-sloping.

CHRONOLOGY: The Etowah type belongs to the Middle Mississippian, Etowah period. Associated point types might include Mississippian Triangular and Guntersville points.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: This type originated at the Etowah site in northwestern Georgia but was spread in small quantities by the Etowah people throughout Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and probably western North and South Carolina.

Hiwassee Island Complicated Stamped

hiwassee etowah upson co

Private collection

RESEARCH: Thomas M.N. Lewis and Madeline Kneberg named this type in 1970.[ii] Lewis and Kneberg did their research of this type at the Hiwassee Island site in the Hiwassee River in eastern Tennessee.

TEMPER: Fine to medium crushed shell was used as tempered in this pottery.

SURFACE DECORATION: This decoration consists of complicated stamping designs that include diamond shaped patterns formed by concentric lines bisected by transverse lines. These occasionally form a cross pattern. Designs can cover the entire vessel or be limited to the collar area. A cord-like texture may cover the remaining surface.

VESSEL FORMS: Known vessel forms include globular jars and bowls with rounded bases. The rims are vertical and curved outward. The lips are rounded.

CHRONOLOGY: This is an Early to Middle Mississippian period pottery type. This type can be found with Mississippian Triangular points.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: This type occurs in eastern Tennessee, northeastern Alabama, western North Carolina, extreme western South Carolina and northwestern Georgia.

 

HORSE ISLAND FINGERMARKED

 

Horse Island Fingermarked pottery from coastal South Carolina

RESEARCH: This type was named by Joseph Caldwell in 1952. Caldwell’s encompassed the Horse Island site, the Auld shell ring at the Young Hall Plantation in Charleston County, South Carolina and the Skull Creek Rings in Beaufort County, South Carolina.

TEMPER: At the Skull Creek rings, where fingermarked ware was the predominant type, this ware was fiber-tempered at the lowest levels where it represented 46% of the total recovered punctated ware. The paste was identical to Awendaw in the beginning, gradually becoming more regularly formed.

SURFACE DECORATION: The surface of this type was covered with random to linear punctation or pinching of every size and shape imaginable. Incising often appears as decoration as well.

VESSEL FORMS: Known forms are hemispherical and globular bowls and jars with rounded, pointed or flattened lips and rims that were straight or slightly incurving, but rarely flaring. No appendages are known.

CHRONOLOGY: This type is considered a Late Archaic type and appears to have been produced at the same time as Stallings and Awendaw pottery. This type is found with Savannah River points.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: This type is known within south and central South Carolina, but is rare south of the Savannah River into Georgia.

 

Irene Complicated Stamped

irene complicated stamped onm

Ocmulgee national Monument collections

RESEARCH: Chester DePratter named this type for the Irene site in Chatham County, Georgia years after the excavation had been done at the site in the 1930’s. While the Irene name remains in use, most archaeologists believe that Irene pottery and Lamar pottery are the same.

TEMPER: Like Lamar pottery, Irene pottery is tempered with coarse grit.

SURFACE DECORATION: The stamping is distributed over the entire exterior of the vessel. In the Irene assemblages, the filfot cross is the most common motif. The stamping is executed carefully in this phase with little over-stamping. In the later phases of Pine Harbor and Altamaha, designs include concentric circles, figure nines, crosses, and line blocks. In these later phases stamping is less well executed. Most of the complicated stamped vessels have decorations just below the lip. These rim decorations include reed punctuations, appliqué strips, rosettes, lugs, and nodes.

VESSEL FORM: Known vessel forms include an elongated globular body with a slight shoulders and wide-mouth hemispherical bowls. Rims are flaring, straight, or incurving. Lips are rounded or square. Bases are round.

CHRONOLOGY: This is an Early Lamar type that dates between 1300 and 1400 A.D. The type occurs in the Irene, Pine Harbor, and finally the Altamaha phase where it eventually ceased being used. Associated point types might include the Mississippian Triangular and Guntersville point types.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: This is one of the more widespread subtypes in the series. The Irene name is applied to this pottery along the Georgia and South Carolina coast. Further inland the Lamar name is applied to this same ware.

 

Lamar Complicated Stamped

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lamar comp stamp handcock co

(Left) Ocmulgee National Monument collections, (Center) Bruce Butts collection (Right 2) Gordon Willey 1949 Pl.54 A

RESEARCH: James Ford and Arthur Kelly recognized Lamar pottery in 1934, but in was not formally named until Jesse Jennings and Charles Fairbanks defined and named it in 1939. Willey discussed its presence in Florida in 1949. Research by Ford and Kelly was done at the Lamar site in Bibb County, Georgia while Willey illustrated jars from the Parish Mounds near Tampa Bay, Florida.

TEMPER: Grit is consistently used in Georgia and surrounding states to the north while vessels from Florida occasionally used sand as temper.

SURFACE DECORATION: The complicated curvilinear and some rectilinear design elements are impressions of carved paddle or stamping unit. The Florida specimens from the Parish Mounds (right) show a circle-and-dot and a complicated connected-rectangle design. A variant designed named “Square Ground” by Frankie Snow has a central dot with straight lines radiating out from it in four directions.

VESSEL FORMS: Vessels are jar forms that are slightly constricted below the orifice.  Bases are rounded.  Rims are folded or an appliqué strip is added and pinched or crimped.

CHRONOLOGY: Lamar stamped pottery dates to the Late Mississippian, Lamar period in Georgia, but Lamar pottery is contemporary with Fort Walton pottery.  Along the coast of Georgia, Lamar (Irene) stamped pottery continued longer.  Florida Gulf coast occurrences are in the Safety Harbor periods. Related point types are the Mississippian Triangular and Guntersville points.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: Lamar Complicated Stamped is found throughout most of Georgia and into adjacent Alabama, Florida and South Carolina.  Similar types are seen in North Carolina and eastern Tennessee.  In Florida it occurs as far south as Tampa Bay.  Eastern extensions in Florida are not well known, but probably occur there only as trade if at all.

 

Napier Complicated Stamped

napier comp stamp dr cramer 001 napier comp uga

napiercomplicatedstampedp

(Left) Private Collection, (Center) Collections of the University of Georgia, (Right) Wayne Porch collection

(Left) Collections of the University of Georgia, (Right) Ocmulgee National Monument collections

RESEARCH: This type was originally defined by Jesse Jennings and Charles Fairbanks based upon sherds that had a distinctive complex style of stamping from the Napier Mound in Jones County, Georgia, located just east of Macon.[iii] The type has been noted as far away as the Chickamauga Basin in Tennessee and related sites in South Carolina and northern Alabama.

TEMPER: This is a grit-tempered pottery type.

SURFACE DECORATION: This is intricate, detailed, complicated designs on relatively thin grit-tempered pottery. The lands and grooves on the pottery are typically thinner and narrower than Swift Creek designs. Designs include: (1) multiple lines which passed back and forth across each other with parallel line filler, (2) zigzagging multi-line strands that form diamond-shaped enclosures with parallel line filler, (3) multi-line straight bands with multi-line chevrons, (4) combinations of small concentric circles with multi-line diamonds, crosses, or chevrons with parallel line filler, (5) herringbone lines, (6) curving multi-line Xs, bordered by rainbow bands, (7) two curving multi-line strands intertwined with parallel line filler, (8) nested diamonds, (9) multi-line diamonds with short lines radiating from them and framed at the sides with multi-line zigzags, (10) multi-line strands crossing each other similar to a bracelet motif, (11) a looped linear L shape with multi-line strands crossing behind it, (12) curvilinear hourglass shapes paired side by side with parallel line filler, (13 ) concentric circles set in multi-line figure eights crossed by three parallel lines, (14) shield-shaped line-filled motifs in pairs side by side with parallel line filler and the area between the pairs filled with cross hatching.

napier stamp forms 001

VESSEL FORMS: Known vessel forms include deep beakers, globular jars and bowls with incurving lips, bowls with straight or rounded flaring sides, bowls with widely flaring slightly rounded sides, and shouldered jars with straight vertical collars.

CHRONOLOGY: This type lasted from the Late Woodland to Early Mississippian period. Associated point types include spike, Woodland Triangular, Jack’s Reef Corner Notched, Ebenezer, and Yadkin points.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: This type is known from central, north and northwestern Georgia, western North and South Carolina, eastern Tennessee and northwestern Alabama.

 

Oak Leaf Complicated Stamped

 

RESEARCH: These comments are from David Anderson’s Type Description (1966) from research done at a sandstone bluff shelter in the Sandhills near Columbia, South Carolina.

TEMPER: This is a Deptford variant that appears to be made from kaolinitic clay found in a specific area of the Sandhills near Columbia. Local clay samples were used to make a vessel which had a similar paste. The sherds have a distinctive, almost vitreous surface and numerous white inclusions. Some of these are kaolin, while others are bits of fossilized shell and silicified sandstone.

SURFACE DECORATION: Surface decorations are unspecified.

VESSEL FORMS: Vessel forms are unspecified

CHRONOLOGY: Radiocarbon dates were obtained from flotation samples, but all of the results were ambiguous, underlining the need for careful consideration of dated samples. The date from the buried midden was much too early for Deptford (4230+/-100BP- corrected with Calib 5.1). As with the topsoil this zone faded into sterile sand with thick lamellae, but about 50cm deeper another buried midden deposit was encountered. This contained two possible fiber tempered sherds and stone tools ranging from Savannah River stemmed, to a fluted point midsection. Dates from the top and bottom of this were 4370+/-70BP, and 4850+/-80BP respectively. This mixing is probably the result of shelter cleaning, and charcoal transport through leaching. Sherds with similar "white speck" temper have been seen elsewhere in the Midlands (Steen 1992) but are not common. This type name has not been used widely, and the variant may be specific to the site, as there is the usual Midlands variant of Deptford in the collection as well.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION:is a Deptford variant that appears to be made from kaolinitic clay found in a specific area of the Sandhills near Columbia. Local clay samples were used to make a vessel which had a similar paste.

 

OEMLER COMPLICATED STAMPED

oemler erased oemlercomplicatedstamped2les

(Top)Courtesy of Mr. Jerald Ledbetter, (Bottom) Antonio Waring – rows of diamonds, nested diamonds, rows of triangles

RESEARCH: Some varieties of Oemler Complicated Stamped pottery was identified by Antonio Waring as Deptford Geometric Stamped pottery. The type was later named for the Oemler site in Chatham County, Georgia. Oemler complicated stamped and check stamped wares were identified by Antonio Waring, and defined by Chester DePratter (1991).

TEMPER: This pottery type has a sand-tempered paste. Sherds are tempered with “abundant fine sand” and “occasional medium grit.” Their texture, or feel is medium to fine- “not as coarse or gritty as Refuge or early Deptford.”

SURFACE DECORATION: The surface of these vessels is covered with rectilinear complicated stamped designs. The designs include nested diamonds; herring bone shapes, alternating zones of triangle-filled pyramids, and rows of diamond-shaped lozenges separated by heavy lines. No curvilinear stamping is found for this type. Rims are straight to slightly flaring, sometimes sharply everted. Lips are rounded to squared, often forming a broad flat lip. Vessel forms are cylindrical jars and bases are rounded. Oemler Check Stamped seems to be an abused type name. The checks on Oemler tend to be diamonds or rhomboids, rather than the square and rectangular forms seen on Deptford and other check stamped wares. So when researchers see odd shaped checks they often call the pottery “Oemler” as a result. The complicated stamp designs are all rectilinear, with nested diamond, Interior surfaces are carefully smoothed to burnished.

VESSEL FORM: Rims are straight to slightly flaring, sometimes sharply everted. Lips are rounded to squared, often forming a broad flat lip. Vessel forms are cylindrical jars and bases are rounded.

CHRONOLOGY: This is an Early Woodland pottery type. Associated points include Hernando, Yadkin, and Greenville points. The dating of the ware is problematic, as no stratified sites are known. DePratter suggests the complicated stamped type may date to his Refuge III period. He includes the check stamped variant with Deptford, and posits an evolution from rhomboid to square checks in his Deptford I period. This is based on seriation however, not empirical evidence. What is notable, however, is that even though DePratter lumps Oemler check stamped in with Deptford, people still seize on the unusual checks to define what they think is “Oemler.”

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: Oemler pottery is known along the northern Georgia and southern South Carolina coast and inland up the Savannah River Valley for an unknown distance.

 

Overhill Complicated Stamped

overhill complicated lewis and kneberg

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(Top) Jefferson Chapman 2001 Fig.8.22.d, (Bottom) Lewis & Kneberg 1946 Fig.21

RESEARCH: Tom Lewis and Madeline Kneberg named this type for the historic Overhill Cherokee people of eastern Tennessee in 1946.[iv]

TEMPER: Coarsely crushed shell or occasionally coarse grit-temper was used in this pottery.

SURFACE DECORATION: Complicated stamping was curvilinear or rectilinear, appearing as hanging loops or nested diamonds. These patterns might be compared to the earlier Pisgah Complicated Stamped type that preceded it in this area.

VESSEL FORMS: Known vessel forms are jars and shallow bowls similar to salt pans. Rims are vertical on jar forms.

CHRONOLOGY: The shell-tempered pottery is middle 18th century Cherokee pottery. The grit temper is thought to be an earlier form as well as contemporaneous with the shell-tempered form. Related points include Kaskaskia points.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: The majority of this type of pottery is found in along the Little Tennessee and upper Hiwassee rivers of eastern Tennessee. It may also found in extreme northern Georgia.

 

Pee Dee Complicated Stamped

pee dee comp stamp 3 pee dee comp 2

Vessels from Town Creek and other drainage area sites near the Pee Dee River

RESEARCH: Jefferson Reid investigated the Pee Dee culture at the Town Creek site and reported his findings in his Master’s thesis as a student at the University of North Carolina in 1967.

TEMPER: Large quantities of fine quartz sand were mixed with the paste as temper. This gave the pottery a fine sugary appearance.

SURFACE TREATMENT: The entire surface of large jars was stamped with the curvilinear and rectilinear stamp patterns illustrated below. Occasionally nodes or punctations were added along the rims. Complicated stamping was eventually replaced with smoothed, burnished finishes. Textile wrapped surfaces developed over time where the wet vessel was wrapped with strips of textile and was then paddled to leave the design in the vessel surface.

                Small pots and bowls were often finished with a plain, burnished surface. Other minor surface finishes included brushing and a check stamped design.

VESSEL FORM: Earlier vessel forms were primarily hemispherical bowls and jars. Cazuela bowls were developed later in the culture.

CHRONOLOGY: The Pee Dee culture is better viewed as a regional center of the South Appalachian Mississippian people that was scattered from the coastal plain of Georgia and South Carolina to the mountains of western North Carolina. The Pee Dee culture at the Town Creek site dates between 1150 and 1400 AD. Coe dated the culture at the Doerschuk site between A.D. 1550 and 1650. Related points are Pee Dee points.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: Pee Dee pottery is found among the Middle and Late Mississippian sites of the Southern Piedmont region of North Carolina and eastern South Carolina.

 

Pisgah Complicated Stamped

pisgahpots

Roy Dickens, Jr. 1976 Pl.62 A,F (Rectilinear Stamped)

RESEARCH: Roy Dickens, Jr. defined this type from the excavations done in 1938 at the Warren Wilson site, a Cherokee village site located in the interior region of the Southern Appalachian Mountains on the campus of Warren Wilson College in Buncombe County, North Carolina.

TEMPER: Fine to coarse sand was used as temper. The sand contained mica in North Carolina examples. Crushed quartz was also used, but probably in earlier examples. Sherds from northwestern North Carolina might also be tempered with steatite, probably as a later development. Some shell tempering was also done in Tennessee. The texture is fairly even and compact with tempering materials accounting for between 20 and 40 percent of the paste content. The interior surfaces are gray to black and are lightly smoothed to burnished. Exterior surfaces are light gray, tan or buff.

SURFACE DESIGN: Dickens designated three complicated design patterns, all applied with wooden paddles. Rectilinear designs were divided into types A, B and C, all of which are forms of block-like stamping. Curvilinear designs, which are separately defined by Dickens, had two such divisions that were both scroll forms. All patterns are shown above. Complicated design patterns account for as much as 80 to 90 percent of all Pisgah sherds in North Carolina with fewer examples in Tennessee and yet fewer in South Carolina. One of the most striking features of decoration is the rim treatment. Three rim forms are described. Collared rims are most commonly decorated with a series of short, diagonal punctations ranging from narrow slits to gashes that appear in one to four rows and are angled in alternating directions. Double rows forming open-ended chevrons are also known. Combinations of incised lines, undecorated rims and complicated stamped rims are also known. Thickened rims are often decorated along the top of the lip with punctations similar to those used on colored rims, but with only one or two rows or a single incised line. About half of the unmodified rims remain plain or may also be punctated. Sometimes an appliqué strip is added along the top outside of the lip with closely spaced pinches or notches along the top outside of the lip. Everted rims are usually undecorated, but may also be decorated. In-slanting rims may be plain or have decoration similar to Dallas Incised patterns.

VESSEL FORM: Vessel forms include globular jars and open bowls. Vessels increased in size as time passed. Lips are rounded, flattened, or ridged. Bases are rounded to slightly pointed on jars and rounded to slightly flattened on bowls. Applique strips are normally added to the upper portion of the rim for decoration purposes when the lip is everted. Appendages appear as part of the rim decoration in many forms or combination of forms. Applique strips can be applied horizontally or in “U” or “V” shapes. Also included are vertical lugs, nodes, and small castellations (in combination with nodes or lugs on collared jars), decorated loop handles, and some rare strap handles.

CHRONOLOGY: In North Carolina, Pisgah pottery is preceded by Connestee pottery and followed by Qualla pottery. In Tennessee they can be mixed with Dallas pottery. At the Garden Creek site in North Carolina, carbon dating put Pisgah pottery at A.D. 1435+/-70. Dickens concluded that the Pisgah pottery should be placed at ca. A.D. 1000 to 1450 during the Early and Middle Mississippian period. Related points include Mississippian Triangular (given multiple names in North Carolina), and Guntersville points.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: Dickens listed several sites scattered across western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee that contained Pisgah pottery. Several sites along the Saluda River in South Carolina and several as far south as White County, Georgia have contained significant amounts of Pisgah pottery.

 

Refuge Dentate Stamped

 

Collections of the University of Georgia

RESEARCH: Antonio Waring named and defined this type in 1967. The type was named for the Refuge site located on the Savannah River that was excavated by Waring.[v]

TEMPER: This type is tempered with sand or grit.

SURFACE DECORATION: The decoration on this type is single or multiple lines of dentate stamping without any identifiable pattern. This type should appear in association with simple stamping or punctation. Impressions are fine and clear.

VESSEL FORMS: Known vessel forms include conoidal jars and hemispherical bowls. The rims are straight or occasionally slightly flared with lips that may be squared or rounded and may be angled outward with a beveled appearance. The bases are conoidal or rounded, but are squared when podal supports are present.

CHRONOLOGY: This type dates to the Early Woodland, Refuge III period. Related point types include Yadkin, Greenville, Swan Lake and Swannanoa points.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: Refuge pottery is found along the Lower Savannah River and upper Georgia Coast and extends along the coastal plain of South Carolina and into the southeastern coastal sites of North Carolina as mapped by Joseph M. Herbert (2009).

 

Savannah Complicated Stamped

savannah comp upson co savannah complicated bartow co

savannah complicated stamped savannah complicated stamped etowah id 2

savannah comp nested diamonds j fuller 001 savannah comp stamp nc ga

(Left) Private collection from Bartow County, Georgia, (Center & right) University of Georgia collections

RESEARCH: This type was defined by Joseph Caldwell and Antonio Waring in 1939 from the excavations at the Irene site.[vi] The type is named for the Savannah River and the city of Savannah.

TEMPER: The grit used in this type as temper ranges from fine to coarse. The surface can be fine to coarse and is usually sandy. The core color ranges from buff to dark gray and is often the same as the surface. The exterior color can be buff, red, light brown or dark gray. The interior surfaces are smoothed and sometimes burnished.

SURFACE DECORATION: Decoration for this type consists of complicated stamping in the form of distinct patterns including figure eight, concentric circles, a single terminal element of the figure eight, concentric circles with a central cross, a simple figure eight with a central cross, and a concentric diamond with or without a central cross. Stamping is carefully applied and clear. Over stamping does occurs on occasion. Known stamping designs are pictured below.

 savannahcomplicatedstamped

VESSEL FORMS: Vessel forms are globular or cylindrical jars with well-defined shoulders. Vessels are usually large with diameters measuring 12 inches or more. Rims are straight to flaring. Lips are squared, rounded or beveled through the use of the stamping paddle.

CHRONOLOGY: This type belongs to the Middle Mississippian, Savannah period. Related point types include Mississippian Triangular and Guntersville points.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: The type is found from southern Georgia into the Piedmont of Georgia South Carolina as well as southeastern Alabama and perhaps southern North Carolina.

 

Swift Creek Complicated Stamped (Early)

 

(Left) Ocmulgee National Monument collections, (Center) Private collection, (Right) Collections of the Anthropology Division of the Florida Museum of Natural History, FLMNH Cat. No.A-11799

RESEARCH: Gordon Willey first formulated the “early” and “late” divisions of this complicated stamped pottery based on his observations at the Carrabelle site in 1949. This division, first applied to Florida examples, has now been applied to Georgia examples as well. The determination between early and late types was based on rim forms, stamping quality and vessel form. Arthur Kelly had done research on the Swift Creek site near Macon, Georgia in 1938.

TEMPER: Fine sand mica was used as temper in this pottery with occasional coarser particles. The core is usually gray to black in color with a buff exterior after firing.

SURFACE DECORATION: The decoration on this type is primarily curvilinear complicated stamping in several distinct curvilinear and rectilinear motifs. The design variations are almost limitless. Most designs are highly stylized natural shapes, many of which have been described by Frankie Snow as turtles, masks, flowers, rattle snake rattles, snow shoes and perhaps celestial formations. Design elements include concentric circles, loops, triangles and lines as well as nested ovals and lobes with eyes and irregular shapes (see below).

VESSEL FORMS: The known form for the early variety of this type is a deep jar or pot with an out-flared orifice. The base is rounded and may have podal supports. The rims are straight and vertical, out-slanted or out-curved. The lips are small, close-spaced notches or round-bottomed broader notches.

CHRONOLOGY: Swift Creek pottery has been assigned to the Middle Woodland, Santa Rosa-Swift Creek period. Related point types are Woodland Triangular, spike forms, Tallahassee, Taylor, and Jackson points.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: Swift Creek pottery is spread across northwestern Florida and all of Georgia, eastern Alabama, eastern Tennessee and southern South Carolina. The illustrated map is after Louis D. Tesar 1980 Map 5, p. 90.[vii]

SWIFT CREEK COMPLICATED STAMPED (late)

(Left) Collections of the Ocmulgee National Monument, (Bottom & Right) Private collections

RESEARCH: Gordon Willey first formulated the “early” and “late” divisions of this complicated stamped pottery based on his observations at the Carrabelle site in 1949. This division, first applied to Florida examples, has now been applied to Georgia examples as well. The determination between early and late types was based on rim forms, stamping quality and vessel form. Arthur Kelly had done research on the Swift Creek site near Macon, Georgia in 1938.

TEMPER: Fine and coarse sand was used as temper in this pottery with occasional coarser particles. This paste is typically coarser than the early variety. The core is usually gray to black in color with a buff exterior after firing.

SURFACE DECORATION: The designs of this later type are again complicated stamping that are predominantly curvilinear in nature, although there are many rectilinear “ladder” designs as illustrated above. Designs include hatched teardrops or snowshoes, concentric spirals, concentric circles, interlocking scrolls and rectilinear elements, intertwined meanders, and concentric lines. The stamping of this period is bolder and poorly executed in comparison to the earlier variety. Many of the designs appear to have been partially obliterated. Designs also get larger in the latter period and are separated from the rim by a plain band and usually only cover a band below the rim with the remainder of the vessel left plain.

VESSEL FORMS: Known vessel forms include long collared jars, short collared jars, simple jars, and flattened and collared globular bowls. Other vessel forms also occur. Rims are incurved, incurved and recurved, in-slanted, and out-slanted. Most rims have exterior folding or thickening. The lips are flat-round or round. Bases are usually round, but occasionally may be flat and circular or flat and squared.

CHRONOLOGY: This type occurred during the latter part of the Middle Woodland period. Related point types are Woodland Triangular, spike forms, Tallahassee, Taylor, and Jackson points.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: The latter type of Swift Creek pottery can be found in northwestern Florida, all of Georgia, eastern Alabama, southern South Carolina and eastern Tennessee.

Wachesaw Complicated Stamped

Wachesaw Complicated Stamped pottery from the Wachesaw Landing site

RESEARCH: The excavations at the Wachesaw Landing site was reported by Michael Trinkley, S. Homes Houge, Martha Zierden and Jack B. Wilson, Jr. as part of the North Carolina Archaeological Counsel No. 20, published in 1983.

TEMPER: This type is tempered with rounded quartz and sand grains in large amounts and occasionally rounded pebbles up to 4mm. The texture is somewhat friable, very coarse and granular. Exterior and interior colors range from light gray to very dark brown with slightly darker cores. Fire clouding is present on exterior surfaces.

SURFACE DECORATION: Interior surfaces are generally well smoothed but never burnished. The exterior surfaces are presumably stamped with a wooden paddle, although no wood grain has been observed. The exterior surface is stamped with a bold, but sloppy filfot cross design. Other designs may exist, but are unknown at present. Stamping is sloppy with much over stamping and smearing. Shoulder and lip decoration is very rare with only two examples from the study collection: rim slash punctations and large hollow reed punctations parallel to the rim.

VESSES FORMS: These vessels do not seem to be coil made, but are mostly made of annular slabs of clay although some modeling is also present. Fracture lines sometimes run latudinally through the midsection of the pottery. Vessel body forms include cylindrical jars and wide-mouth hemispherical bowls. Vessel diameters average 60cm. Straight rims are most common and rarely a slightly everted rim. Lips are most often strongly beveled and thickened, but can also be bulbous and rounded.

CHRONOLOGY: This pottery seems to have a strong tie to Pee Dee pottery. It was made by the Historic Waccamaw Indians and dates to between 1650 and 1700. Related point types are Pee Dee and Caraway points.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: The Waccamaw people were never a large group and this pottery is known only from in and around Georgetown County, South Carolina.

 


[i] Sears, William, The Wilbanks Site (9CK-5), Georgia. Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 169:129-194. Washington, D.C. 1958

[ii] Lewis, Thomas M.N. and Madeline Kneberg. Hiwassee Island An Archaeological Account of Four Tennessee Indian Peoples, University of Tennessee Press, 1946

[iii] Williams, Mark. Georgia Indian Pottery web site

[iv] Lewis, Thomas M.N. and Madeline Kneberg. Hiwassee Island An Archaeological Account of Four Tennessee Indian Peoples, University of Tennessee Press, 1946

[v] Williams, Mark. Georgia Indian Pottery web site

[vi] Williams, Stephen, The Waring Papers, The Collected Works of Antonio J. Waring, Jr., Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. Vol. 58, 1977

[vii] Tesar, Louis D., The Leon County Bicentennial Survey Report: An Archaeological Survey of Selected Portions of Leon County, Florida. Florida Bicentennial Commission 1980