FLORIDA CHECK STAMPED POTTERY

 

There are relatively few check stamped pottery types that are identified as Florida types.  The temper and the rim treatment will be key in identifying each type.

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.

 

DEPTFORD CHECK STAMPED

a. Dr. Bob Cramer collection B. Jim Tatum collection

Temper: Sand or grit

Distribution: Northern Florida from Lake Okeechobee to the Fall Line of Georgia where it becomes  Cartersville Check Stamped throughout northern Georgia.

Age: Middle Woodland

Vessel forms: Usually deep, straight-sided jars with rounded or flattened rims.  Vessels often have short, stamped tetrapod legs.

Decoration: Check stamping over the entire surface of the vessel.

 

DEPTFORD LINEAR CHECK STAMPED

Wayne Porch collection

Temper: Sand or grit

Distribution: Northern Florida from Lake Okeechobee to the Fall Line of Georgia where it becomes  Cartersville Linear Check Stamped throughout northern Georgia.

Age: Middle Woodland

Vessel forms:Usually deep, straight-sided jars with rounded or flattened rims.  Vessels often have short, stamped tetrapod legs.

Decoration: Linear Check stamping over the entire exterior surface of the vessel.  Lines of checks are separated by wide margins to form a "rail road track" appearance.

 

GULF CHECK STAMPED

Gordon R Willey (1949)

Temper: Sand or mica

Distribution: Northwest Florida coast between St. Andrews Bay and Apalachee Bay

Age: Deptford period and into Santa Rosa Swift Creek period of Middle Woodland period

Vessel forms: Jars with out-slanting rims and slightly out flared rims. Lips were rounded or flat and unmodified except for a trifling extrusion of paste on exterior surface; or scallops or notches made by pressing a cylindrical tool onto the top of the lip.  Notches or scallops vary from 1 to 5 cm.

Decoration: Check stamping is carefully done with little over-stamping, more than any other check stamped type in Florida.

 

JEFFERSON CHECK STAMPED

a.

b.

a. Leon variety b. Fort White variant (the Jefferson check stamped varieties, Leon and Fort White, correspond to Scarry,s Lamar Check Stamped varieties.)

Temper: Grit

Distribution: Spanish mission sites within the Suwannee Valley region

Age: historic period, Spanish mission period

Vessel Form: jars with flaring-rim with a folded and pinched rim.

Decoration: two types are described by Dr. Worth, both of which corresponds to what he named Lamar Check Stamped with the same to named variants. The Leon variety described by Scarry (1985) has diamond shaped checks that are 1 cm or slightly less, and are frequently marked by raised dots in the center, giving the surface a sort of "pineapple" appearance. Stamping ranges from bold and clear to light and indistinct.  The Fort White variety is new and quite distinctive. It is characterized by extremely broad checks, generally ranging between 1.5 and 2.1 cm in width. Stamping is uniformly light, and checks are almost perfectly square, with narrow lands.

 

LEON CHECK STAMPED

Lloyd Schroeder collection

Temper: Sand and course grit

Distribution:Throughout northwest Florida, but centering in Leon and Jefferson counties.   Occasionally found in central Gulf Coast region.  Extends into southwestern Georgia.

Age: 17th Century A.D. Leon-Jefferson period.  Found as a minority type in Fort Walton sites.

Vessel forms: Out-flared rims with round-pointed lips.

Decoration: Impression of checked stamping on medium into soft surface vessel.  Designs are individual checks average about 1 cm. in diameter.  The lands are sometimes low and faint, sometimes wide and heavy.  Checks are diamond-shaped on some specimens.  Some specimens appear to have been slightly smoothed after stamping which tends to blur and obscure the lands.  Sometimes Fingernail punctations occur on collar.

 

PASCO CHECK STAMPED

Donated by Paleo Enterprises

 

Look for pits in vessel exterior where limestone particles have leached out (see Pasco Plain).

Temper: Fine to medium limestone particles.  Usually smaller than Pasco Plain particles.

Distribution: The southwestern part of the central Florida area may be the hearth of the type, but it also extends out to the central Gulf Coast.

Age: Middle to Late Woodland, Weeden Island I & II periods

Vessel forms: Open and slightly constricted bowls with unmodified rims

Decoration: Check stamping applied with paddle or comparable instrument.  Small checks of 3 to 4 mm. and large checks of 6 to 10 mm.

 

SAN MARCOS CHECK STAMPED

Deagan and Thomas (2009)

Temper: Sand or sand and limestone near St. Augustine (Goggin 1952), Grit in Georgia (Williams GIP site)

Distribution: Late 17th century sites near St. Augustine and north along the coast.  It also occurs in north central Florida and near Tallahassee (the region of the Spanish mission system).

Age: Smith (1948) gives a date of 1686 for simple stamping with other forms of decoration peaking sometime before that period (Goggin).

Vessel forms: Large, deep, round-bottom jars with a constricted area below a flaring rim and Spanish "soup plate" forms.  A Spanish type ring foot is found on some examples.

Decoration: Check stamping that is shallow and small.  Vessels are well smoothed and sometimes painted red.

 

SAN PEDRO CHECK STAMPED

Deagan and Thomas (2009)

Temper: Grog or clay (crushed pot sherds) and some sand

Distribution: Camden County, Georgia and Nassau and Duval counties, Florida

Age: Very early Spanish mission period (1560's to post 1587).  Found with Spanish olive jars.  The type may have predated Spanish missions as examples were recovered with maze cobs dated to A.D. 1250-1310. Other Florida recoveries in the St. Marys region dated from 1405-1455 and 1490-1640.

Vessel forms: While forms are not noted, San Pedro vessels are much heavier or thicker than the St. Marys Cord marked pottery that preceded it.

Decoration: Check stamping on paste tempered with crushed sherds in the St. Mary's region early Spanish mission sites.

 

ST. JOHNS CHECK STAMPED

(Also known as Biscayn Check Stamped in the Tampa Bay area)

Lloyd Schroder collection

Temper: Diatomaceous earth

Distribution: Primarily from northeastern Florida, but is known in the Tampa Bay and central coast area as Biscayne Check Stamped.  Appears in southeastern Florida and as far north and west as Valdosta and Savannah Georgia.

Age: Late Woodland, St. Johns II period

Vessel forms: Large bowls and some large vessels with concoidal bottoms and out-flaring rims.

Decoration: Check stamping on diatomaceous earth paste

 

ST. JOHNS LINEAR CHECK STAMPED

Donated by Paleo Enterprises

Temper: Diatomaceous earth

Distribution: Primarily from northeastern Florida, but is known in the Tampa Bay and central coast area

Age: Late Woodland, St. Johns II period

Vessel forms: Large bowls and some large vessels with concoidal bottoms and out-flaring rims.

Decoration: Linear Check stamping on diatomaceous

 

WAKULLA CHECK STAMPED

a. Lloyd Schroder collection b. donated by Paleo Enterprises

Temper: Sand or grit

Distribution: Florida Gulf Coast and up the Chattahoochee River for an unknown distance and into south-central Georgia.

Age: Late Woodland, Weeden Island II period

Vessel forms: Flattened globular bowls, bowls with incurved rims, deep bowls with out-slanting rims, pots and jars with long and short collars.  Rims are in-curved, out-slanted, straight, slightly inverted or out-slanted.  Folded rims often occur.

Decoration: Relatively small check stamping over the entire surface of sand or grit tempered vessels.