Pottery is among the most common artifacts found by archaeologists. This is because it is durable and does not decay like wood, bone or organic materials. Because it is hand made it tends to have idiosyncracies that can allow us to tie it to specific makers and time periods, thus allowing us to date other more ambiguous items and make generalizations about the people and cultures that made and used it. This site contains four major sections. There is an introduction of course, and then sections on:
Pottery for Beginners- If you have found a piece of pottery this section may help you identify and date it.
Pottery Basics- This section includes sections on culture history, dating, distribution, analysis terms and approaches, glossaries, and posted papers and reports.
Previous Research- a non-comprehensive summary of pertinent reseach with links to as many of the original sources as I (site author Carl Steen) could find. This includes many electronic copies of site reports, academic papers, and books. The focus is on South Carolina and directly adjacent states, but includes some works with a broader view.
Series and Types- I have organized these into early, middle, late and historic groups. I have tried not to impose my beliefs too much, and have tried to include original type descriptions where possible. David Anderson has allowed me to use his 1996 type descriptions from the COSCAPA symposium, which covers a lot of ground. In other cases I have borrowed liberally from the University of Georgia pottery site and from various North Carolina sources.
It is hoped that this site will continue to grow and be updated as new information comes to light. An important lesson for the author was that despite the fact that considerable research has been done, we still have a lot to learn.
Acknoledgements are at the link.