ALABAMA BRUSHED POTTERY

 

It is our hope that the pictures and descriptions in this section will assist you in discovering the identity of your pottery sherds and the history behind them.  If you are unable to identify your finds from this list, please feel free to contact me (Lloyd Schroder - see CONTACT US) with pictures of your discoveries and information regarding their general location.  The pictures should include a clear picture of surface decoration, rim structure (if possible), the interior of the vessel, and a cross-section of the sherd.  I will make every effort to respond as quickly as possible to your requests.

FOR MORE DETAILED INFORMATION

For more detailed information on these and other pottery types within the Southeastern United States, please see our "Publications" page to order Lloyd Schroder's Field Guide to Southeastern Indian Pottery.

 

 

 

AVERETT BRUSHED

 

 

Department of Anthropology, Museum of Natural History, Montgomery

RESEARCH: David Chase defined this type in 1959.[i] This type was named after the Averett site in Georgia.

TEMPER: This is a grit-tempered pottery.

SURFACE DECORATION: Decoration consists of fine brush strokes that run parallel to the rim. Nodes or bumps may appear along the rims of the semi-conoidal vessels and on the shoulder of the globular type.

VESSEL FORMS: Known vessel forms are globular jars with incurved rims or semi-conoidal jars with out-curving rims. Lips may be pinched, rounded or squared.

CHRONOLOGY: This type belongs to the Late Woodland, Averett phase.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: Distribution of Averett pottery runs from western central Georgia to eastern central Alabama along the central Chattahoochee River valley.

 



[i] Chase, David. The Averett Culture. Coweta Memorial Association Papers 1. Columbus, Georgia.

 

CHATTAHOOCHEE BRUSHED

 

 

RESEARCH: The type was named by Ripley Bullen in the 1950’s.

SITE & LOCATION: This type was named for the Chattahoochee River where it is dominant among early Creek Historical period sites.

TEMPER: The Creek and Seminole Indians tempered this pottery with grit particles that may protrude from the surface.

SURFACE DECORATION: Brush lines made with grass, pine straw, or other semi-stiff bristle.  Strokes are either side-horizontal or vertical and cover the majority of the vessel.

VESSEL FORMS: Known vessels are deep pots with in-curving or out-flaring orifices.

CHRONOLOGY: This pottery belongs to the Historic period between 1716 and 1763. As the Creek Indians moved from along the Oconee River southward to the Alachua prairie and Tallahassee areas they took this pottery style with them.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: This pottery type was brought to Florida by Creek people who became the Seminoles of Florida.  It would have first appeared in their settlements across north central Florida and then was taken south at least as far as the central Gulf Coast  and Tampa Bay where it has been referred to as Weeki Watchee Brushed.

 

   

 

 

CONNESTEE BRUSHED

 

 

Connestee pottery has a distribution range that extends across southeastern Tennessee, western North and South Carolina, and northern Alabama and Georgia. Radiocarbon dates from places like Russell Cave in Alabama, Ice House Bottom in Tennessee and the Garden Creek mound in North Carolina date this pottery between 530 and 805 A.D. Tempered with fine sand and small amounts of crushed quartz, Connestee pottery is decorated with brush marks, check stamping, cord marking or plain surfaces.

 

ETOWAH BRUSHED

 

University of Georgia collections

RESEARCH: This type was defined by William Sears in 1958.[i] This 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: Fine brush strokes cover the entire surface of the vessel. Recovered sherds of this type have not been sufficient to determine the direction of the strokes with any certainty.

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.

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 South Carolina.

 

 



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

FLINT RIVER BRUSHED

 

 

RESEARCH: Caryn Y. Hollingsworth discussed this type in 1991 and Steve B. Wimberly also discussed it in 1960.[i] Wimberly noted the presence of two sherds of this type at the James Village site in southwestern Alabama as trade ware, but is considered a ceramic type of the Tennessee River Valley Region of Alabama where Hollingsworth recovered 69 sherds at the Sheeps Bluff Shelter site.

TEMPER: Crushed limestone was used as temper and fragments are abundant and well preserved in the paste.  The paste color is dark gray and the surface is buff with gray fire clouding.

SURFACE DECORATION: The exterior of the vessel is brushed as with a bundle of twigs.

VESSEL FORMS: Vessel form: Large to medium vessels.

CHRONOLOGY: Hollingsworth suggested a Middle Woodland to late Early Mississippian chronological position in the Tennessee River Valley.

 

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: This is defined as a pottery type of the Tennessee River Valley Region of Alabama.  Its appearance in southwestern Alabama is probably the result of trade.

 


[i] Wimberly, Steve B. Indian Pottery From Clarke County and Mobile County, Southern Alabama, University of Alabama, p.82

 

McVAY BRUSHED

 

 

RESEARCH: Steve Wimberly named this type in 1960.[i]

SITE & LOCATION: Wimberly’s research was done at the McVay Village site in Clarke County, Alabama.

TEMPER: Medium fine sand was used as temper, giving the past a buff exterior color.

SURFACE DECORATION: The surface was roughened by vertical brushing.  Brush marks are irregular, perhaps done with a bundle of twigs.  Brush marks cover most if not all of the vessel exterior.

VESSEL FORMS: Known vessel forms include medium sized deep bowls with vertical, direct rims.  Lips are scalloped with shallow, curved indentations (possibly made with the finger) while others resemble the short, sharp serrated edges of Franklin Plain rims.

CHRONOLOGY: This is a Middle Woodland pottery type.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: The study area was very limited, but distribution is expected at least in southeastern Alabama along the lower Tombigbee River valley.



[i] Wimberly, Steve B. Indian Pottery From Clarke County and Mobile County, Southern Alabama, University of Alabama

 

 

MIDDLE VALLEY BRUSHED

 

 

 

Research: Named and defined by Dunlev (1948) and studied by Tom Lewis and Madeline Kneberg in the Chickamauga Basin

Site & location: In Middle Woodland sites in the Flint River Basin by Dunlevy and in sites of the same period by Lewis and Kneberg in the Chickamauga Basin.

Temper: Limestone

Surface decoration: A rough surface of either small brushed lines done without regularity or scraped lines that appear to be done with perhaps twigs scraped in a diagonal direction. Both surface treatments seem to converge at the base of the vessel.

Vessel form: No vessel description was given by Lewis and Kneberg except for drawings by Herman Stauch. The sherd above suggests at least a medium to large globular jar form with a straight color and rounded rim. Given Stauch’s drawings, it could be expected to have a conical base.

Chronology: Late Woodland period

Distribution: At least from the Flint River region of Alabama to the Chickamauga Basin of Tennessee.