The ceramic ecology of florida: compositional baselines for pottery provenance studies
The success of pottery provenance studies is fundamentally dependent upon spatially patterned variation in the composition of exploited clay resources. Uniformity in clay composition within a region and recognizable differences between regions of interest are essential requirements for determining provenance, but these parameters are difficult to satisfy in study areas such as the coastal plain of the southeastern USA in which chemical and mineralogical variation tend toward continuous gradients. In an attempt to improve the reliability and validity of pottery provenance studies in the area, this research investigates compositional variation in raw clay samples from across Florida and southern Georgia through NAA (n=130) and petrographic analysis (n=99). The results indicate that fourteen distinct compositional regions can be differentiated, ranging from 50 km to 400 km in length. These regions dictate the direction and minimum distance a pottery vessel must have been transported in order to be recognized as nonlocal through compositional analysis. The validity of the proposed compositional regions is supported by previous case studies focused on assemblages from three of the regions. In each case, vessels were transported from other compositional regions more than 100 km away.
Science and Technology of Archaeological Research
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Wallis, Gilmore, Z. I., Cordell, A. S., Pluckhahn, T. J., Ashley, K. H., & Glascock, M. D. (2015). The ceramic ecology of florida: compositional baselines for pottery provenance studies. Science and Technology of Archaeological Research, 1(2), 30–49. https://doi.org/10.1080/20548923.2015.1133119