Just a Grog Sherd Livin’ in a Shell World: Mississippian Microhistories of Practice in Ceramic Production
This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
Carbonized shell temper has traditionally been seen as one of the defining hallmarks of Mississippian Period societies in the Midwestern and Southeastern US. The Lower Mississippi River Alluvial Survey (Phillips, Ford, and Griffin 1951) solidified the importance of shell temper in distinguishing Mississippian Period sites and occupation levels from earlier ceramic practices that used grog and crushed stone as tempering agents. The continued use and superficial application of Phillips, Ford, and Griffin’s (as well as others) ceramic types and downplaying (or ignoring) of multiple and mixed tempers in the analysis of ceramic assemblages has perpetuated the perception that shell was king during the Mississippian Period. Drawing on digital microscopy, we present ceramic evidence from Alabama, Indiana, and Missouri identifying the presence of grog and mixed tempering practices at the bookends of the Mississippian Period. We argue that the presence of these tempers were part of the human-ceramic entanglements that part of the processes of Mississippianization.
Cite this Record
Just a Grog Sherd Livin’ in a Shell World: Mississippian Microhistories of Practice in Ceramic Production. Meghan Buchanan, Elizabeth Watts Malouchos, Meghan Buchanan. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450233)
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min long: -93.735; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -73.389; max lat: 39.572 ;
Abstract Id(s): 24132