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Problems of Ceramic Chronology in the Southeast: Does Shell-Tempered Pottery Appear Earlier than We Think?

  • James K. Feathers (a1)

Abstract

The chronology of shell-tempered pottery in the eastern United States is poorly understood, preventing any resolution to the question of how this pottery came to dominate ceramic assemblages in the late prehistoric period. Part of the problem lies in traditional dating methods that either provide only average dates that suppress variation or address depositional rather than manufacturing events. Better resolution can be obtained by dating individual artifacts. Luminescence dates for 67 ceramics from several sites in the mid-South show variation in age of ceramics from a single assemblage, strong chronological overlap between shell- and grog-tempered pottery, and suggest that shell-tempered pottery may have been present in low frequencies earlier than generally assumed and before it rose in frequency sometime after A.D. 900.

Résumé

Nuestro conocimiento sobre la cronología de cerámica con desgrasante de concha del Este de los Estados Unidos es pobre, impidiendo que podamos resolver de forma adecuada la cuestión sobre el por qué este tipo de cerámica dominó los inventarios característicos del último periodo prehistórico. Parte del problema radica en la aplicación de métodos cronométricos tradicionales que o bien proporcionan una fecha media eliminando todo tipo de variabilidad, o bien están enfocados hacia los procesos de deposición y no los de manufactura. Fechas obtenidas mediante el método de luminiscencia de 67 piezas de cerámica provenientes de varios yacimientos del Medio Sur. presentan una variabilidad en edad de un mismo inventario y sugieren la posibilidad de que cerámica con desgrasante haya estado presente en bajas frecuencias antes previamente y antes de que sur frecuencia aumentara después del 900 d. C.

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Problems of Ceramic Chronology in the Southeast: Does Shell-Tempered Pottery Appear Earlier than We Think?

  • James K. Feathers (a1)

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