Analyzing the Utilization of Shell in Chickasaw Pottery Using Petrographic and Chemical Composition Techniques
Author(s): Domenique Sorresso
This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
Archaeological and ethnographic records indicate that a change in ceramic technology from recent shell to fossil shell temper took place as the contact period Chickasaw of Mississippi migrated north and adjusted to upland settlements of the Blackland Prairie. While this shift is widely accepted within the archaeology of the region, it can be difficult to apply to specific ceramic assemblages. In order to examine the phenomenon of Chickasaw shell tempered ceramics in more detail and investigate the proposed shift, sherds from three sites in northeastern Mississippi have been analyzed in detail using ceramic petrography, X-ray fluorescence and scanning electron microscopy. Using these techniques, analysis was completed to discern the characteristics of the recent shell and fossil shell tempers, determine the provenance of the ceramics, and understand if elements of the ceramic creation process, such as paste preparation and recipes, were consistent between sites or individual to a single site. Results show compatible versions of recent shell and fossil shell paste recipes across the sites were followed using clay local to each site. This data also demonstrates that macroscopic temper identification is helpful for rough sortability, but fails to recognize key characteristics, such as the use of both tempers simultaneously.
Cite this Record
Analyzing the Utilization of Shell in Chickasaw Pottery Using Petrographic and Chemical Composition Techniques. Domenique Sorresso. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449596)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
North America: Southeast United States
min long: -93.735; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -73.389; max lat: 39.572 ;
Abstract Id(s): 25547