Characterizing Colonowares from Three Sites in the Central Virginia Piedmont

Author(s): Barbara Heath

Year: 2016


First described in the literature in 1962, colonowares were initially interpreted by Ivor Noël Hume as low-cost provisions to enslaved people that substituted for more costly colonial ceramics. Later archaeologists argued that they were the products of enslaved potters or represent a creolized folk pottery that mixed Native American, African and European potting traditions. Whoever made them, a growing body of evidence indicates that they were used by enslaved and free people across racial boundaries. While significant research has been undertaken on assemblages recovered from the tidewater and northern piedmont regions of the state, comparatively little is known about the manufacture, distribution, and use of colonoware in the central Virginia piedmont during the 18th and early 19th centuries. Drawing on small assemblages from two sites in Bedford County and one in Powhatan County, this paper describes variability in paste, surface treatments, and rim, handle and base forms within each assemblage, explores the distribution of colonowares across each site, and places them within the context of the historic communities within which they operated.

Cite this Record

Characterizing Colonowares from Three Sites in the Central Virginia Piedmont. Barbara Heath. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403792)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -84.067; min lat: 36.031 ; max long: -72.026; max lat: 43.325 ;