Pottery is an amazing artifact.  There are many types, all with different designs or no design at all.  Designs come from the potter's imagination or his beliefs.  All have different tempers, some of grit or small pebbles, some of Spanish Moss that has burned away, leaving only a trace of its existence.  Some types are tempered with sand and some with clay; others with what some would call no temper at all, only to discover that there are small, microscopic sponge spicules that hold it together.

Think about this. Pottery is a lot like people.  Each one was fashioned by the Potter's hand, each uniquely designed from the Potter's heart.  Some were designed for daily use while others were designed for special occasions and celebration.  All were tempered, but all have a different temperament.  How has the Potter designed you and tempered you?  What was His special plan and purpose?  We are clay in His hands.  Many are like much of the pottery we find, broken and discarded by the world, but there is still hope.  Like the pot sherds that were broken and cast aside, then recovered and rounded into gaming stones to become the center of joy in an Indian's life, our broken lives can be renewed to become the center of joy in the Potter's heart.


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.





C. B. More

Temper: Sand

Distribution:The area of Carrabelle, Florida

Age: Immediately after Fiber tempered, possibly transitional sand temper or very early and possibly Deptford related.

Vessel forms: Shallow open bowls.  Appendages from otherwise rounded simple lips.

Decoration:Thin incised lines made on moist clay.  Clay has a tendency to pile up along the lines.  Rectilinear and curvilinear designs including "key" design.



(facsimile) after Bert Mowers


Temper: Arch Creek paste (fine sand)

Distribution: Miami, Florida area, south Florida, Identified at the Arch Creek site in Broward County.  Was not present in the Caloosahatchee region.

Age: Late Woodland to early Mississippian, Glades IIb period (A.D. 900 - 1100)

Vessel forms: Unknown

Decoration: Independent zigzag design in groups of two parallel incised lines closely spaced together.  Designs are limited to an area below the rim.  Rims are simple and lips appear rounded.



Florida Museum of Natural History

Temper: Sand or grit

Distribution: Tallahassee area in northwestern Florida, Leon and Jefferson counties.

Age: During the Leon and Jefferson periods of the 1600's.

Vessel forms: shallow bowls and casuela bowls  The rims of the vessels were incurved with flat or rounded lips.

Decoration: The incising consisted of 2 to 5 parallel lines forming chevrons or other rectilinear and curvilinear designs.  The designs sometimes formed loops.  Sometimes the incising was filled with punctations placed below the lip of the vessel.  Incised lines are made around the rim. Rims are usually incurvate with lip flat or rounded. Lip lugs noted.



C. B. More

Temper: Fine sand, some clay

Distribution: Common on the northwest coast of Florida, but also found along the west coast of Florida.

Age: Santa Rosa Swift Creek related (Willey), Middle Woodland

Vessel forms: Flattened globular bowls, long collared jars, cylindrical and squared beakers.

Decoration: Paste color often gray-buff, buff-white or red. Surface is smoothed to low polish.  Interior not well smoothed.  Incised lines made in unfired vessel. Rectilinear and curvilinear motif and combination of both on same vessel.  Lines average 2 to 3 mm. in width.  Arrangements of parallel, diagonal lines, concentric rectangles, triangles, meandering scrolls, and complex and highly stylized life figures make up the designs.  Bird designs that encompass the entire vessel have wings or other parts on each side.  Deep hemi-conical terminal punctations or pits are a feature marking the ends of junctures of lines.  Rims are nearly always set off from the area of decoration by single bordering incised line a centimeter or so below the opening. Rims are incurved with and without exterior marginal fold or thickening.  Straight or slightly out-slanted rim without marginal fold. Lip is scalloped or notched, round-flat, round-pointed, and flat. Base is round, flat and circular, and flat and square.



Florida Museum of Natural History


Temper: Sand

Distribution: South Florida, especially just south of lake Okechobee in the Bell Glade region and Manatee region.

Age: Appears in Glades I period, but is more common in Glades II and III periods.

Vessel forms: Large simple bowls with in-curving rims and flat lips.  Vessels from the Manatee region have more rounded lips.

Decoration: A series of curvilinear and rectilinear designs used in conjunction with small punctations.  Designs seem to be limited to an area along the rim of the vessel.




Florida Museum of Natural History

Temper: Sand

Distribution: May be all of the Glades region

Age: Glades I late, A.D. 500 - 750

Vessel forms: Most Glades vessels are bowls with in-curving walls and rims

Decoration: Incised looping line with stab-and-drag punctations, below lip



Gordon R Willey (1949)

Temper: find say and

Distribution: Florida golf Coast

Age: Weeden Island related (Willey), Late Woodland

Vessel forms: flattened-globular bowls, collard globular bowls, simple and collard jars, beakers. Rims are in-curving, direct, and out slanting. Exterior folds. When not folded, rims may be slightly thickened.

Decoration: medium and fine incised lines on soft, unfired surfaces. Parallel incised lines placed vertically or diagonally on vessel. Arrangement in simple rows, herringbone fashion, or nested triangles. There is a variation of the latter where alternate triangles are filled with horizontally placed lines. Decoration is often set off, above and below, by incised lines. Decoration is usually confined to a band beneath the rim on the upper one third of the vessel. Sometimes on beaker forms, decoration extends from the rim to the base.




Temper: shell

Distribution: Moundville to northwest Florida


Vessel forms:

Decoration: Burnished surface with broad-line, trailed decorations.




Florida Museum of Natural History


Temper: Fine sand and mica

Distribution: Known from Franklin to Citrus Counties along the Gulf Coast of Florida

Age: Santa Rosa Swift Creek related (Willie), Middle Woodland

Vessel forms: Flattened globular bowls, cylindrical beakers, double-globed vessels, collared jars, composite-silhouette jars, Rims are unmodified or have a fold or slight flange.

Decoration: Deep, medium-wide incised lines and large, round-dot punctations.  Incision sometimes displays "fractured" edges showing lines were made after drying.  Designs were a combination lobate forms and circles, rectilinear to lobate or circular elements and pendant loops.  These elements are often filled with fields of large dot punctations.  The various elements are combined into complicated designs.  These may or may not be highly conventionalized life forms.  Some pieces show obvious naturalism, including a hand design, human face, bird, etc.



Florida Museum of Natural History

Temper: Sand

Distribution: Glades region of south Florida

Age: Middle to Late Woodland, Glades IIa period (A.D. 750 - 900)

Vessel forms: Bowls with in-curving walls and rims

Decoration: An incised pattern of arches with openings upwards , continuous around the pot below the lip.  A variant is with two straight lines in opposing diagonal groups around the rim with a cat-whisker effect.  Arcs may also be in groups of 2 to 4, instead of single lines.  These are analogous to the Key Largo-Opa Locka relationship.



Name: Named and described by Gordon Willey from the Englewood site, Sarasota County, Florida

Temper: Fine sand. Paste is buff, gray or black

Distribution: Known only from Sarasota County and the surrounding area

Age: Englewood related (Willey), Caloosahatchee III, A.D. 1200 - 1350 (Milanich)

Vessel forms: Cylindrical beakers, short-collared jars, simple jars, deep bowls or beaker-bowls, open bowls

Decoration: Usually rectilinear designs but with simple curvilinear elements sometimes combined.  Interlocking rectilinear elements in which incised bands are alternately filled with teardrop-shaped punctations.  Continuous crisscross or diamond elements in which band zones are left plain and background filled with teardrop or dot punctations.  Zigzag incised bands or connected chevrons in which background is filled with punctations and chevrons are left plain.  Rectangular panels with diagonal incised bands and backgrounds filled with punctations.  Continous curvilinear plain bands arranged S-fashion with punctated backgrounds.  Vertical and diagonal bands alternately filled with punctations. Designs cover either upper shoulder or most of exterior walls.  Plain band at rim usually set off from decoration by one or more horizontal incised lines.





Temper: Sand

Distribution: The greatest concentration of Fort Drum sherds came from Goggins Snapper Creek site and many other sites in Broward County, Florida.

Age: Glades I late, A.D. 500 - 750

Vessel forms: Most Glades vessels are bowls with incurving walls and rims.

Decoration: Vertical or diagonal ticking on lip or rim. A continious row of diagonal or vertical small lines below the rim, occasionally up to the lip.  Rim ticking is typically a row of cuts on the top of flattened lip, very variable in shape and direction. "Punctated" is usually one or two rows of holes or dents around the pot below he lip.  A special kind of punctate is the "jab-and-drag" type, which is a row of holes with a sort of line connecting them, made by dragging the gabbing too..



Temper: Sand

Distribution: The greatest concentration of Fort Drum sherds came from Goggins Snapper Creek site and many other sites in Broward County, Florida.

Age: Glades I late, A.D. 500 - 750

Vessel forms: Most Glades vessels are bowls with incurving walls and rims.

Decoration: Rim ticking is typically a row of small cuts along a flattened rim, very variable in shape and direction.  -



Temper: fine sand

Distribution: Northwest coast of Florida with inland extension for at least 100 miles. Distribution unrecorded along Alabama coast and interior Alabama but probably occurs in these areas.

Age: Fort Walton related (Willey), Middle Mississippian

Vessel forms: Shallow bowls with lateral expansions, casuela bowls, colored globular bowls, short collared jars, beaker-bowls, bottles, gourd-effigy forms, flattened-globular bowls with effigies of fixed.Rams are in slanting or in curbing depending on vessel form. Most rims thickened except for a preceptable thinning at the lip edge. Long, thin folds are common. These are usually underlined within incised line. Lips are rounded-pointed. Closely spaced notches are placed diagonally on the exterior margin of the lip. Bases are rounded. Appended Jesus are lateral or horizontal rim projections. Bird head and tail effigies placed on opposing sides of the rim. Small vertical logs, usually for to a vessel, placed just below the lip or exterior. These logs may be flush with lip or may project above it.

Decoration: lines and punctuations incised into the soft surface of vessel. Lines are deep, wide, and usually rectangular in cross-section. Large round, or square punctuations most common. hollow read punctuation sometimes used. Elements of design are bullets, interlocked scrolls, running scrolls, circles, trifoil figures, concentric forms, S-shaped and reverse-S figures, rectilinear stepped figures, pendant loops, and triangles. Elements are usually repeated around the vessel in a connected design pattern. punctations used as filler for both background and for design proper. Incised lines sometimes used as filler. Designs appear around the upper part of the bowl, as a rule, and on vessel exterior. Interior decoration occurs on upper surfaces of the rim appendages or projections to large open bowls.


Temper: Shell

Distribution: Suwannee valley region mission sites

Age: Historic, A.D. 1600-1650 Spanish mission period

Vessel forms: Jars with restricted necks, flaring rims and well-defined shoulders indicative of Mississippian jar forms.

Decoration:Incised decoration is restricted to the neck area of the jar.  Incising is in the form of parallel lines that are diagonal to the lip of the vessel, normally running from the lower left to upper right.  Lines are generally in pairs situated 4 to 16 mm. (average 10 mm.). Lines are from 1-2 mm. wide and are burred on the edges (indicating lines made in wet clay).  Vessels with both neck and shoulders also have a row of large ovoid punctations along the break in profile at the shoulders.  These punctations are 4-5 mm. in size and are spaced 6-8 mm. apart.  Rims are unknown, but may resemble Goggin plain rims.





Temper: Sand

Distribution: Glades region of south Florida

Age: Early to Middle Woodland, Glades I period (400 B.C. to A.D. 400)

Vessel forms: Most Glades vessels were bowls with incurving walls and rims

Decoration: Incised diagonal lines below the rim with ticking along one side of the incised lines.  Incised lines may be singular in groups or have branching lines from them also with ticking.