Project Title

Innovation Of Design: Early Ceramic Vessel Traditions In The Southeast

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Geography & Anthropology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Terry Powis

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Innovation Of Design: Early Ceramic Vessel Traditions In The Southeast

The earliest pottery in North America was found on Stallings Island in the Savannah River Valley. Stallings pottery is fiber-tempered ceramics that appear in the archaeological record during the Middle Archaic Period. The use of organic material, such as Spanish moss, as a temper helped to bind the clay to ensure it survive the firing process. Early Stallings assemblages were undecorated shallow bowls with curved bottoms that replaced soapstone slabs as a means for indirect cooking, and later led to direct heat cooking. Around 3200 B.P. a shift occurs in the Savannah River and coastal assemblages of Stallings pottery that includes various types of decorative design. The designs provide no added functionality to the ceramic vessels, but nonetheless proliferated upriver to the Georgia coast, north to the Carolinas, and south to Florida. This research will examine the prominent theories behind the spread of decoration incorporated into ceramic production in the Middle Archaic by comparing expanded gender roles, ceremonial importance, and socioeconomic changes.

Keywords: Georgia, Savannah River, Stallings Pottery, Ceramics, Archaic People

Project Type

Poster

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Innovation Of Design: Early Ceramic Vessel Traditions In The Southeast

Innovation Of Design: Early Ceramic Vessel Traditions In The Southeast

The earliest pottery in North America was found on Stallings Island in the Savannah River Valley. Stallings pottery is fiber-tempered ceramics that appear in the archaeological record during the Middle Archaic Period. The use of organic material, such as Spanish moss, as a temper helped to bind the clay to ensure it survive the firing process. Early Stallings assemblages were undecorated shallow bowls with curved bottoms that replaced soapstone slabs as a means for indirect cooking, and later led to direct heat cooking. Around 3200 B.P. a shift occurs in the Savannah River and coastal assemblages of Stallings pottery that includes various types of decorative design. The designs provide no added functionality to the ceramic vessels, but nonetheless proliferated upriver to the Georgia coast, north to the Carolinas, and south to Florida. This research will examine the prominent theories behind the spread of decoration incorporated into ceramic production in the Middle Archaic by comparing expanded gender roles, ceremonial importance, and socioeconomic changes.

Keywords: Georgia, Savannah River, Stallings Pottery, Ceramics, Archaic People