COMPLICATED STAMPED POTTERY OF GEORGIA S-Z

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.

SANA ROSA STAMPED

 RESEARCH: Gordon Willey described this type from sites along the Northwest Florida Coast in 1949. Steve Wimberly later described this type from his work in Clarke and Mobile counties in Alabama.

Temper: Ground clay or sherd temper, in Alabama this pottery is tempered with medium-coarse sand occasionally with granule gravel additions (S. Wimberly, 1960).

Decoration: Shell rocker stamping.  Alabama examples are covered with stamping in rows of zig-zag stamping that ran parallel to each other and usually, but not always, overlapping slightly.  Rows of stamping run vertically in most cases.  When rows of stamping do not overlap, they are usually spaced about as far apart as each row of stamping is wide (1 to 2.5 cm) with undecorated sections of the same width between them.  Stamping made by small scallop shell.  Stamping usually extends to the lip.

 Vessel forms: Rims are out-flared or straight with lips that are scalloped or notched.  Vessels have straight sides with rounded bottoms.  Sherds from the Bayou La Batre Shell Midden site indicate medium-sized globular bowls with orifices only slightly constricted orifices of 12 to 15 cm in diameters and bodies of 18 to 20 cm in diameter.  Rims are direct and follow the gradual inward curve of the upper body wall.  Lips are flattened to round-flattened.

CHRONOLOGY: Willey considered this type to be Middle Woodland, Santa Rosa Swift Creek related, however Wimberly found it in an Early Woodland context at the Bayou LaBatre Shell Midden site.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: The total range of distribution seems to include the western end of the Northwest Florida Coast and from Mobile Bay north to the lower Tombigbee and Alabama River basins.

 

 

SAVANNAH COMPLICATED STAMPED

 RESEARCH: This type was defined by Joseph Caldwell and Antonio Waring in 1939.

SITE & LOCATION: This type was defined at the Irene site in Chatham County, Georgia and was named for the Savannah River and the city of Savannah, Georgia.

TEMPER: This is a grit-tempered pottery type.

SURFACE DECORATION: Decoration for this type consists of complicated stamping. Stamping is carefully applied and clear. Over stamping does occurs on occasion. Known stamping designs are pictured below.

 

 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.

 CHRONOLOGY: This type belongs to the Middle Mississippian, Savannah period.

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.

 

ST. ANDREWS COMPLICATED STAMPED

Temper: Fine sand and mica. Surface is well smoothed, even to a low polish on interiors.  Orange-buff throughout or gray-black core with one or both surfaces fired.

Distribution: Northwestern Florida coast between Choctawhatchee Bay and St. Andrews Bay for which it is named.

Age: Middle Woodland Santa Rosa-Swift Creek period

Vessel forms: Straight-sided vessels with straight or slightly out-flaring rims.  Lips are scalloped or notched.  Bases are rounded

Decoration: Rectilinear complicated stamping over the entire body of the vessel. Designs include line block, hatched rectangles, diagonally bisected rectangles with each triangular half filled with hachure, and concentric rectangles or triangles.

 VESSEL FORMS: The vessel is a pot form with a flaring rim. The rims are widely scalloped. The lips are slanted inward and flat-round or flat.

CHRONOLOGY: This type belongs to the Middle Woodland, Santa Rosa-Swift Creek period.

 GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: Willey noted the distribution of this type is between the St. Andrews and Pensacola Bay along the Northwestern Florida Coast with the heavier accumulation nearer St. Andrews Bay. Wimberly encountered this type in Clarke County, Alabama.

SWIFT CREEK COMPLICATED STAMPED (Early)

Early Swift Creek Complicated Stamped

Early to Middle Swift Creek Stamping forms

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.

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.

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.[i]



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

 

SWIFT CREEK COMPLICATED STAMPED (Late)

Late Swift Creek Complicated Stamped

Late Ladder design stamps for Swift Creek

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.

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.


 

WILBANKS COMPLICATED STAMPED

 RESEARCH: William Sears named this type in 1958.[i] The type was named for the Wilbanks site located in Cherokee County, Georgia prior to the formation of Lake Allatoona.

TEMPER: This is grit-tempered pottery with very thick walls.

SURFACE DECORATION: Wilbanks Complicated Stamped pottery is unique because of its very thick vessel walls large stamped designs. The concentric circular motif design with a central dot is generally used in stamping, however an elongated U-shape with cross bars and scrolls are known. Over-stamping is common.

VESSEL FORMS: The only known vessel form is an elongated jar shape. The vessel rims are moderately flared. The lips are rounded or squared.

CHRONOLOGY: This type belongs to the Middle Mississippian, Wilbanks period.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: This type is found in northwestern Georgia along the Etowah River valley and may appear in extreme northeastern Alabama, southeastern Tennessee, or western North and South Carolina.



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

 

WOODSTOCK COMPLICATED STAMPED

 

Woodstock Complicated Stamped

RESEARCH: The combined research of Robert Wauchope and Joseph Caldwell Robert Wauchope identified the Woodstock site in Cherokee County, Georgia and named the type, however documentation of their work has subsequently been lost.[i] The type was named after the town of Woodstock, Georgia.

TEMPER: This type is tempered with either sand or grit. The paste is usually gray in color, but may be a dark tan.

SURFACE DECORATION: Complicated stamping that includes a variety of curvilinear and rectilinear designs that have been pictured below. One additional design that appeared very early in the type is not pictured below (see above left). This last element has been combined on Wright Check Stamped (see WRIGHT CHECK STAMPED).


VESSEL FORMS: Known vessel forms include cylindrical beakers with out-curving or in-curving rims, globular jars, bowls with flaring or straight walls, deep pots with straight, out-slanting walls that turn upward below the lip. Lips are flat or rounded. Rims may also be scalloped with a broad, shallow notching.

CHRONOLOGY: This type belongs to the Late Woodland, Woodstock period.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: This type is found in northwestern Georgia and may appear in eastern Alabama.



Williams, Mark. Georgia Indian Pottery web site