Evaluation of the Pensacola Relative Ceramic Chronology by Percentage Stratigraphy Seriation

Author(s): Grace Riehm

Year: 2016


In parts of the U.S. Southeast, including south Alabama, relative ceramic chronologies for prehistoric archaeological sequences are based on descriptive type-variety systems of classification that have remained unevaluated by seriation methods. This project assesses the chronological utility of the type-variety classification for Pensacola archaeological culture ceramics through the application of seriation methods to collections from three extensively excavated sites on Mobile Bay. Chronological utility is defined here by application of the popularity principle with evidence of introduction, increase, and decrease in ceramic type-varieties through time as ordered by stratigraphic superposition. Lyman et al. (1998) refer to this combined method of frequency seriation and stratigraphic sequence as percentage stratigraphy, which establishes a relative chronology based on a testable stylistic progression of ceramic types through time. Decorated pottery from Shell Bank (1BA81), Andrew’s Place (1MB1), and D’Olive Creek (1BA196 and 1BA251) was sorted by previously established type-varieties and a seriation performed using the Excel macro created by Tim Hunt and Carl Lipo. Through this methodology, type-varieties of chronological utility can be identified and those that lack chronological utility can be rejected. The results of the seriation are presented and used to evaluate the chronological utility of the current Pensacola ceramic phase chronology.

Cite this Record

Evaluation of the Pensacola Relative Ceramic Chronology by Percentage Stratigraphy Seriation. Grace Riehm. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404921)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;