Petrographic Analysis of Pre-Columbian Pottery From Nevis, Eastern Caribbean


This is an abstract from the "Cross-Cultural Petrographic Studies of Ceramic Traditions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Prehistoric Amerindians in the Eastern Caribbean often used local materials in the manufacturing of ceramics, and in some cases, transported these as they migrated. Given the ubiquity of ceramics in the Caribbean, they are useful in discerning past movements, and spheres of interaction. However, studies of this nature are scarce in the region. In this paper, we have conducted an exploratory study of pottery from the island of Nevis (northern Lesser Antilles), in a continuation of efforts to understand and define ceramic production, distribution, and use. The Dickenson method of petrography, initially used in Oceania, was implemented on 20 non-diagnostic Late Ceramic Age potsherds from the site of Coconut Walk. These, along with 11 modern sands, were collected and petrographically described. Descriptions focused on sand and matrix characteristics such as composition, size, sorting, and angularity. From descriptions, sherds were categorized into compositional temper groups: group 1(Felsitic) and group 2(Volcanic). Sands were also described and organized into temper groups. Representatives of each temper group, both sherds and sands, were then selected for point-count analysis using the Gazzi-Dickinson method. Results indicate that temper groups match both local geologic description and local modern sands, suggesting a local provenience for pottery production.

Cite this Record

Petrographic Analysis of Pre-Columbian Pottery From Nevis, Eastern Caribbean. John Lawrence, Scott Fitzpatrick, Christina Giovas. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451527)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -90.747; min lat: 3.25 ; max long: -48.999; max lat: 27.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25214