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The ceramic ecology of florida: compositional baselines for pottery provenance studies


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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.
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The ceramic ecology of florida: compositional
baselines for pottery provenance studies
Neill J. Wallis, Zackary I. Gilmore, Ann S. Cordell, Thomas J. Pluckhahn, Keith
H. Ashley & Michael D. Glascock
To cite this article: Neill J. Wallis, Zackary I. Gilmore, Ann S. Cordell, Thomas J. Pluckhahn, Keith
H. Ashley & Michael D. Glascock (2015) The ceramic ecology of florida: compositional baselines
for pottery provenance studies, STAR: Science & Technology of Archaeological Research, 1:2,
29-48, DOI: 10.1080/20548923.2015.1133119
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© 2016 The Author(s). Published by Taylor &
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The ceramic ecology of orida: compositional
baselines for pottery provenance studies
Neill J. Wallis
*, Zackary I. Gilmore
, Ann S. Cordell
, Thomas J. Pluckhahn
Keith H. Ashley
, and Michael D. Glascock
Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA
Department of Anthropology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA
Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA
Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida, USA
Research Reactor Center, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA
Abstract 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 difcult 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.
Keywords Neutron Activation Analysis; petrographic analysis; pottery production; mobility; exchange
Received 1 June 2015; accepted 9 October 2015
The importance of artifact provenance in archaeologi-
cal research has never been greater. Archaeological
research programs are increasingly focused on move-
ment, including movements constitutive of past inter-
action networks (e.g., Knappett 2013; Mills et al.2015;
Wright 2014), aggregation centers (e.g., Gilmore
2014; Schachner 2011; Spivey et al.2015), migrations
(e.g., Bader 2012; Bellwood 2014; Smith 2014), and bio-
graphies (e.g., Joyce and Gillespie 2015; Van Keuren
and Cameron 2015). Materials analysis that investi-
gates geochemistry, mineralogy, and mineral
inclusions has proven integral to such efforts by fur-
nishing archaeologists with perhaps their most direct
means for tracing the routes of people and things
across space, as well as into and out of various relation-
ships. The techniques involved help provide the kind
of quantitative data needed to lend scientic credence
to largely theoretical network-based and biographical
models (Jones 2004; Joy 2009; Joyce 2012).
Archaeologists have long used various geochem-
ical and mineralogical analyses of pottery as a means
to determine its provenance. If the resulting data can
be resolved to a geographical scale that is compatible
with the distance earthenware vessels are suspected to
have been transported, provenance can be ascertained.
As Neff (1998) points out, however, interpretations are
constrained by the reliability and validity of the sampling
and methods. Reliability is degraded by error, both
analytical and random, as well as within-source variation.
Validity is diminished by systematic effects that result
from ceramic compositional changes during manufac-
turing, use, and post-depositional processes (e.g., leach-
ing and diagenesis) (e.g. Buxeda i Garrigós 1999;Golitko
et al.2012;Mommsen2001;Picon1986, 1992). Both
reliability and validity can be enhanced, in part,
through raw material sampling and by combining
complementary methods such as neutron activation
analysis (NAA) and petrographic analysis (Arnold et al.
2000;Heinet al.2004;Neff1998:125).
In Florida and southern Georgia, stylistic and typo-
logical attributes of aboriginal pottery indicate that
vessels may have been widely transported during
every cultural historical period in which they were pro-
duced (ca. 2000 BC to AD 1700). Nevertheless,
*Corresponding author. Email:
Research Article
© 2016 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (,
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DOI: 10.1080/20548923.2015.1133119 STAR 20548923.2015.1133119 29
Downloaded by [University of North Florida] at 07:42 10 April 2016
conrmation of the movement of pots through geo-
chemical and petrographic provenance research has
often proven difcult due to the lithology of the
southern Coastal Plain. Clays across this region are
expected to be fairly homogeneous in terms of chemi-
cal composition and mineral inclusions, owing to the
ultimate derivation of sediments largely from the
same protolith, the southern Appalachian Mountains.
Despite this fact, patterned regional variations do
exist and have been the basis for successful identi-
cation of pottery provenance for more than two
decades (e.g., Ashley et al.2015; Cordell 1984,2004;
Gilmore 2014; Steponaitis 1996; Stoltman 2015; Wallis
et al.2010; Wallis 2011). In this study, NAA and petro-
graphic analysis are used to outline spatial variation
in the chemistry and mineral inclusions of clays from
the Coastal Plain of Georgia and Florida. Based on
these results, archaeological prospects for reliable pro-
venance indicators are evaluated and the most appro-
priate spatial scale for sourcing vessels is presented.
The resulting data are considered in relation to suc-
cessful archaeological case studies in three parts of
the study area that each involved the circulation of
Pre-Columbian pots over hundreds of kilometers.
Geological Background
The present study area includes the Coastal Plain
region of southern Georgia and most of Florida.
Broadly distributed across most of this area (except
south of Lake Okeechobee) are high-quality clays suit-
able for pottery manufacture, having moderate to high
plasticity and lacking excessive aplastics (Anderson
1988). Here, focus is directed toward the near-surface
clayey deposits and associated sand-sized mineral
inclusions that composed the array of potential raw
material resources available to Pre-Columbian
potters. Despite their shared ultimate origin in the
southern Appalachian Mountains, the sediments in
question exhibit a substantial range of variability in
Figure 1 Exposed outcrop ages in the study region.
30 Science & Technology of Archaeological Research 2016 VOL 1NO 2
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chemistry and mineral inclusions due to differences in
the timing, conditions, and mechanisms of deposition,
as well as their frequently divergent post-depositional
Georgias Coastal Plain encompasses more than
half of the state, extending from the Fall Line south
to the Atlantic Ocean and Florida border (Figure 1). It
is partitioned into several sections by southward
owing rivers, most of which originate in the Pied-
mont. The Coastal Plain is Georgias youngest geologi-
cal province, with most of its surface outcrops and
deposits Miocene or more recent in age. These surcial
units sit atop a basement of igneous and metamorphic
rocks along the Fall Line and more recently formed
limestone and sedimentary rock farther south
(Herrick and Vorhis 1963).
Clays in the Coastal Plain are primarily alluvial
and their composition is strongly inuenced by the
origin of the river transporting them. Along the
valleys of rivers with headwaters in the Piedmont,
such as the Savannah, Ogeechee, and Altamaha
rivers, major clay minerals typically include kaolinite
and vermiculite, with illite, chlorite, and montmorillo-
nite (a type of smectite) forming minor constituents
(Neiheisel and Weaver 1967; Peavear 1972). The kao-
linite in this case is thought to be a product of the
weathering of Piedmont feldspars within the warm,
wet climatic conditions of the southeastern USA,
while vermiculite is derived from muscovite and
phengite schists (Pevear 1972:320). In contrast, river
valleys such as the Satilla, which are wholly within
the Coastal Plain, contain both montmorillonite and
kaolinite eroded from Coastal Plain sedimentary
rocks, along with smaller amounts of illite (Pevear
1972:320321). Illite comprises a larger constituent
of some clays along the Georgia coast, possibly a
result of potassium uptake by other clay minerals in
the marine environment (Pevear 1972:334). Additional
clays such as palygorskite and sepiolite are common
in Miocene-aged components of the Hawthorn
group, a heterogeneous limestone and clay unit that
underlies virtually the entire study area, but is rarely
exposed at the surface in Georgia (Hetrick et al.1987).
A similar pattern exists with regard to sand-sized,
heavy minerals that occur in conjunction with
Coastal Plain clays. Piedmont draining river sediments
are characterized by an abundance of very to moder-
ately unstable minerals such as pyroxenes and
epidote, while those from Coastal Plain rivers typically
contain ultrastable to stable minerals, including zircon,
tourmaline, rutile, staurolite, sillimanite, and kyanite, in
addition to epidote (Windom et al.1971:501). Other
minerals found commonly throughout the Coastal
Plain include micas (muscovite and biotite), feldspars,
and various opaque minerals (Windom et al.1971:502).
In addition to variation between river valleys, evi-
dence exists indicating substantial differences along
the length of individual Georgia rivers. In a geochem-
ical mapping project of near-surface Georgia sedi-
ments, Cocker (1999) found that most measured
elements from samples along rivers are depleted in
direct proportion to their distance from the moun-
tains, becoming especially low in the Coastal Plain.
This general pattern has been corroborated by a sub-
sequent study of clays and pottery along the course
of the Altamaha/Ocmulgee drainage (Wallis 2011:101).
Whereas geological studies of near-surface sedi-
ments in Georgia suggest a number of largely predict-
able chemical and mineralogical trends, previous
research in Florida instead points to a more complex
patchwork of different sediment compositions. Flori-
das near-surface geology reects a long history of
interspersed carbonate and siliciclastic depositional
processes (Scott 1997,2011). At the beginning of the
Paleocene (65 mya), carbonate sediments came to
dominate deposition on the platform, eventually
resulting in a thick mantle of limestone, dolostone,
and evaporites that covered virtually its entire
expanse. A dramatic uplift of the Appalachians early
in the Miocene (25 mya) resulted in a marked
increase in siliciclastic sedimentation across Florida
that continued up to the Quaternary, albeit inter-
spersed with additional periods of substantial carbon-
ate deposition, especially in southern Florida. Miocene
to Holocene sediments now blanket the entire plat-
form, ranging from less than 1 m thick in some areas
to more than 300 m in others (Scott 1997,2011).
These heterogeneous near-surface deposits were the
primary source of the various clays, quartz sands, and
heavy minerals used by pre-Columbian potters.
With a few exceptions in the northwest peninsula,
the oldest exposed clays in the state are Miocene in
age and belong to the aforementioned Hawthorn
Group. The Hawthorn in Florida consists of varying
mixtures of clay, sand, carbonates, and phosphates,
most of which were deposited in a marine setting
(Scott 1988,1997). The diverse formations that make
up the Hawthorn reect a broad range of depositional
conditions and repeated reworkings that have resulted
in an array of lateral and vertical variations in lithologi-
cal composition (Compton 1997; Hetrick et al.1987;
Isphording 1971; Scott 1982,1988). The upper layers
of the Hawthorn are particularly clayey, containing fre-
quent beds of the Mg-rich clay minerals palygorskite
and montmorillonite (Scott 1982:133, 1988). Phos-
phates are virtually ubiquitous throughout the Haw-
thorn Group but are especially concentrated in
southwest Florida within the Bone Valley region of
the Peace River formation (Figure 1), where they
have been extensively mined (Altschuler et al.1964;
Compton 1997; McClellan and Eades 1997). The Haw-
thorn is primarily a subsurface unit in Florida, but it out-
crops along the edges of the underlying Ocala limestone
platform, along the southwest coast, and in restricted
areas of the eastern panhandle (Scott 1982:130).
Clays can also be found within more recent Plio-
Pleistocene deposits in Florida. Secondary (i.e., sedi-
mentary) clays occur in most counties in the northern
half of the state, especially along the St. Johns River
(Bell 1924:117). In western and northern parts of the
Science & Technology of Archaeological Research 2016 VOL 1NO 231
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peninsula, impurities in limestone have also been
weathered out to form localized residual clay deposits
that are usually highly calcareous (Bell 1924:111). Kao-
linite deposits occur in east-central Florida in a 40-km-
wide belt from southern Clay County to southern Polk
County, as well as in the panhandle (Calver 1949). The
origin of these deposits, which rarely exceed 45
percent kaolin content, is poorly understood, with possi-
bilities including weathering in place or deposition under
deltaic conditions (McClellan and Eades 1997:150).
The accessory minerals found within and alongside
Floridas clay deposits, because they were ultimately
derived from the Southern Appalachians and Pied-
mont, include the same light and heavy minerals
listed above for the Georgia Coastal Plain (Isphording
1971; McClellan and Eades 1997). Heavy minerals are
most abundant in the northern half of the state,
where they were concentrated through wind and
waves along ancient shorelines that now form terres-
trial sand ridges (Fountain et al.2009:20). One of
these ridges, called Trail Ridge, extends for more
than 200 km from the Altamaha River in southern
Georgia south to Bradford County in north-central
Florida. It has been extensively mined for a variety of
heavy minerals and boasts one of the worlds highest
concentrations of the titanium mineral ilmenite
(Garnar 1971; McClellan and Eades 1997; Pirkle et al.
1971). Other heavy minerals common to northern
Florida include leucoxene, rutile, zircon, and staurolite,
epidote and amphibole, and less commonly, kyanite,
sillimanite, tourmaline, spinel, topaz, and corundum
(McClellan and Eades 1997). However, only ilmenite,
rutile, zircon, epidote, amphibole, kyanite, and tourma-
line have been observed in pottery and clays from the
study region (e.g., Cordell 1992;1993;2006;2007;
Cordell and Deagan 2013; Pluckhahn and Cordell 2011).
Archaeological Background
Pottery manufacture began by ca. 5000 years ago on
the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia and spread
south into peninsular Florida within a few centuries
(Gilmore 2015; Sassaman 2002). This ber-tempered
pottery was the earliest in North America and incorpor-
ated strands of Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) into
the fabric (Gilmore 2014,2015; Simpkins and Allard
1986). By the beginning of the Woodland period ca.
3000 years ago pottery manufacture was ubiquitous
across the entire study region and beyond, encom-
passing a diverse array of surface treatments and
paste recipes. Surface treatments included various
modes of smoothing, punctating, incising, stamping,
painting, slipping, pinching, scoring, and various com-
binations of these. Commonly used tempers included
quartz sand, crushed limestone, charcoal, and grog.
Sponge spicules, the biosilicate remains of freshwater
sponges, are another common inclusion, but their origin
in pottery is the subject of debate (Cordell and Koski
2003; Rolland and Bond 2003). Although spicules are
undeniably naturally occurring inclusions in some clays,
their extremely high frequency in pottery might also be
accounted for by added tempers of muck or sponges.
Some of these broadly dened tempering tra-
ditions can be delimited in space and time. However,
because all of the temper materials are available in
many parts of the study region, none can be used
alone as a reliable indicator of provenance. Quartz
sand and grit(coarse and larger particle sizes, often
polycrystalline or polymineralic; also see Stoltman
1989:149) overwhelmingly dominates post-1000 BC
pottery assemblages in many parts of the study
region. In contrast, limestone tempering predominates
between ca. 500 BC and AD 1000 on the northern Gulf
coast of peninsular Florida, and charcoal tempering is
conned to the mouth of the St. Johns River ca. AD
200 to 600 (Ashley and Wallis 2006; Wallis et al.
2011). Pottery with dense concentrations of sponge
spicule inclusions, known as St. Johns, is found
throughout Florida but is most prevalent in east
Florida along the St. Johns River for which it is
named and the parallel Atlantic coast.
Although local pottery production is assumed to
have been possible in every part of the study region,
no production locus or facility within a site has ever
been documented archaeologically. The lack of
archaeological visibility is likely due in part to the typi-
cally small, domestic scale of production that left
ephemeral traces. However, this explanation seems
unlikely for pottery production at some of the largest
sites that served as villages and ceremonial centers,
home to hundreds of people and arguably thousands
of locally made pots at any one time. These large sites
existed during every period in which pottery was
made, and pottery was produced on a sufciently
large scale that the lack of evidence for manufacturing
areas is enigmatic. Based on the physical properties of
archaeological vessels and sherds and ethnohistorical
records, most pottery in the region is known to have
been made with clay coils, nished with a paddle
and anvil technique, and red in open bonres (e.g.,
Milanich and Fairbanks 1980:7879; Milanich 1994:
129130.; Sassaman 2002; 416417; Holmes 1903:5053).
Asimilar lack of evidence pertains to clayey sedi-
ment exploitation. No clayey deposit with signs of
pre-Columbian quarrying has ever been recorded in
the region. Presumably the lack of evidence stems
from the fact that many clayey deposits are exposed
in small and isolated areas, making them difcult for
archaeologists to nd, and along the exposed banks
of various bodies of water clays are subject to
erosion that obscures ancient evidence of quarrying
(Albero 2014:60). In addition, clayey sediments are
not often found within archaeological sites and there-
fore have not been the focus of intensive archaeologi-
cal investigation. Small stockpiles of human-
transported unred clayey sediments have been docu-
mented within middens in a few cases (e.g., Ashley
et al.2015). Contemporary potters also yield few
clues to the locations of exploited clays. Traditional
pottery production by Native Americans ceased
32 Science & Technology of Archaeological Research 2016 VOL 1NO 2
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during the mid-19th century by immigrant Seminoles
(Weisman 1989) and the early-mid eighteenth
century by native Florida peoples who did not survive
the onslaught of disease, warfare, and enslavement
brought about by European exploration and settlement
(e.g., Milanich 1995). The use of local clays by contem-
porary artisans is quite rare. Commercial mining of
clays for construction materials such as bricks gives
some indication as to the locations of clays suitable
for making pottery but has also likely eradicated any
evidence of more surcial mining practices of the past.
Given the limitations of archaeological visibility for
clay exploitation and pottery production and the wide-
spread distribution of clayey sediments, the probability
of nding the exact locations from which ceramic
resources were collected for making a particular
archaeological pottery vessel is extremely low. Accord-
ingly, our sampling efforts have been designed to
document the effective ceramic environment(Rice
1987:314315) of the study region in terms of the avail-
ability and variability in clayey resources. This project is
built upon the premise that a series of samples can be
used to understand the distribution and range of vari-
ation in bulk chemistry and mineral inclusions, among
other properties, within available clayey soils. Given
spatial patterning in the results, these data can serve as
proxies for the actual clayey deposits that were exploited
for making pottery in ancient times (Wallis 2011:92).
Clay samples derive from many disparate archaeologi-
cal projects over many years (e.g., Ashley et al.2015;
Cordell 1984; Gilmore 2014; Wallis 2011; Wallis et al.
2010) and are curated at the Ceramic Technology Lab-
oratory, Florida Museum of Natural History. All samples
with existing NAA and petrographic data were
employed in the analysis, and additional samples
were analyzed to ll geographic gaps in coverage. As
part of the collection protocols, clay deposits were
georeferenced and their form and extent were
described. All samples derived from clayey soil depos-
its with easy accessibility, either exposed along the
banks of rivers, streams, and estuaries, or excavated
within two meters of the existing ground surface.
Given the generally low rates of sedimentation and
pedogenic accumulation in the region over the past
5000 yearsthe period in which pottery was pro-
ducedcollected samples surely would have been
accessible to ancient potters. Most of the clayey
samples are suitable for making pottery based on
measured characteristics such as water of plasticity,
linear drying shrinkage, and ring behavior (e.g.,
Cordell 1984; 1985; 1992; Pluckhahn and Cordell
2011). A low percentage of samples may not have
been suitable for pottery production because of exces-
sive aplastic inclusions. However, most of these aplas-
tics consist of quartz sand and could have been
removed through sieving and levigation. All samples
derive from natural sedimentary or pedogenic
deposits with the exception of four samples from
archaeological contexts. Each of these archaeological
samples was a small prepared clay mass recovered
from midden context (e.g., Ashley et al.2015). A total
of 99 samples was analyzed by petrography and 130
samples were analyzed by NAA. Sixty-three samples
were analyzed by both methods.
NAA and multivariate statistical techniques for data
analysis and interpretation are described in detail else-
where and are only briey summarized here (Baxter
1992; Baxter and Buck 2000; Bieber et al.1976;
Bishop and Neff 1989; Glascock 1992; Neff 1992,
1994,2000,2002). NAA was conducted at the Univer-
sity of Missouri Research Reactor. Clay samples were
placed in a drying oven for 24 hours at 100 degrees
C and subsequently red at 800 degrees C with a
soak time of 30 minutes in order to drive off water
and other volatile substances. The clay briquettes
were ground into powder using an agate mortar and
pestle. Powder from each clay sample was divided
into two vials, allowing for separate short and long
irradiations and a total of three gamma counts. SRM-
1633a Coal Fly Ash and SRM-1633b Coal Fly Ash
were used as the calibration standards for all elements
except Ca, the former for all analyses prior to 2011 and
the latter for all analyses during 2011 and after. The
standard for Ca in all samples was SRM-688 Basalt
Rock. Altogether, the two irradiations and three
gamma counts resulted in the detection of 33
elements for each sample. Elements measured in the
analysis were As, La, Lu, Nd, Sm, U, Yb, Ce, Co, Cr, Cs,
Eu, Fe, Hf, Rb, Sb, Sc, Sr, Ta, Tb, Th, Zn, Zr, Al, Ba, Ca,
Dy, K, Mn, Na, Ti, and V. Nickel (Ni) was below detection
limits in the majority of samples and was not included
in the subsequent analysis.
Statistical analysis of the data included converting
raw elemental concentrations to base-10 logarithms
to compensate for differences in magnitude between
major and trace elements and reducing the data to
principal components. Occasionally the concentration
of an element was close to its detection limit and
yielded missing data. Each missing value was substi-
tuted with a value that minimized the Mahalanobis dis-
tance for the specimen from the group centroid
(Glascock 1992). Spatial interpolations of chemical con-
centrations were calculated using an inverse distance
weighted technique. For the purposes of spatial inter-
polations, elemental concentrations were normalised
to the reference standard SRM-679 Brick Clay.
With respect to petrographic analysis, a briquette
from each clay sample was formed, red at 600°C for
30 minutes, allowed to cool, and then thin sectioned.
This ring temperature and duration most closely
approximates or just exceeds ring temperature of
most pre-Columbian pottery in the study region (e.g.,
Cordell 1984) and therefore facilitates comparability.
Using a petrographic microscope with a mechanical
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stage, point counts were made for quantifying the rela-
tive abundance of inclusions (following Stoltman 1989,
1991,2001,2015). A minimum of 175 points were
counted for each thin section. Each point or stop of
the stage was assigned to one of the following cat-
egories: clay matrix, void, silt particles, clay lumps,
ferric concretions or nodules, clayey/phosphatic
nodules, limestone and shell, biogenic silica (sponge
spicules, phytoliths, diatoms), and very ne through
very coarse quartz and other crystalline aplastics of
varying compositions. Most of the point counts were
made using the 10X objective, but the 25X objective
(with plane-polarized light) was used to search for
occurrence of siliceous microfossils such as sponge spi-
cules, phytoliths, and diatoms. Size of aplastics was
estimated with an eyepiece micrometer with reference
to the Wentworth Scale (Rice 1987:38). A comparison
chart of percent particle abundance (Rice 1987:349
[Figure 12.2]) was also used for estimating relative
abundance of constituents occurring in low frequency.
NAA results
Interpolations of element concentrations demonstrate
signicant geographic patterning (Figure 2). Clays from
Figure 2 Inverse distance weighted interpolations of select elements in clay samples normalized to SRM 679.
34 Science & Technology of Archaeological Research 2016 VOL 1NO 2
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the center of the state are depleted in K, while those
on the coasts are enriched, particularly those from
northeast Florida and the Apalachicola River area. K
enrichment is explained by the frequency of illite in
the former location and inclusions of mica within
samples from the latter. Rb shows a similar distribution,
as is expected given known terrestrial abundance
relationships of K and Rb and the association of Rb
with illites (Schnug and Haneklaus 1996).
Ca is enriched in most, though not all, samples
from southwest Florida, reecting the prevalence of
calcareous clays in that region. Sitting above the
marl and limestone of the Hawthorn formation are
beds of calcareous clays that are exposed and readily
accessible for collection in southern Florida. The distri-
bution of U enrichment overlaps with Ca enrichment.
Clays in southwest and south-central Florida are
enriched in U, which corresponds with the phosphate
and kaolinite of the Peace River formation. All other
regions are depleted in U with the exception of two
anomalous samples in northern areas of the peninsula.
Other elements show distinctive distributions that
are correlated with the age of exposed outcrops.
Many elements show a pattern of enrichment in the
western half of peninsular Florida, corresponding
with older sediments, and depletion in the eastern
half, mostly dominated by younger deposits. This is
true of V, Cr, Eu, and Tb, but these elements vary in
Figure 3 Inverse distance weighted interpolation of clay sample principal component scores.
Science & Technology of Archaeological Research 2016 VOL 1NO 235
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terms of how far east the higher concentrations extend
and whether clays from north-central Florida or south-
west Georgia are also enriched. Fe concentrations are
highest in northeast Florida and the Florida panhandle
and notably depleted in many of the samples from
southwest and central Florida.
The results of Principal Components Analysis (PCA)
also demonstrate spatial patterning (Figure 3). Interpo-
lations of sample scores on the rst three Principal Com-
ponents (PC) show consistent distinctions among
several regions. Southwest Florida scores high on PC1,
with samples dominated by enrichment in Ca and Na.
Central peninsular Florida shows high scores on PC2,
with samples variously enriched in U or Sr and/or
depleted in K and Na. In contrast, northeast Florida
and the Apalachicola valley clays score low on PC2,
owing to elevated concentrations of K and Na and
depletion of U and Sr. Finally, the relative contributions
to PC3 are distributed more-or-less evenly across many
elements. Clays from the upper (southern) St. Johns
region score low on PC3 due to depletion in most
elements while areas of the central Gulf coast up
through southwest Georgia score high because of
enrichment in elements such as La, Lu, Tb, Eu, and Dy.
Drawing on the elements that exhibit the strongest
spatial patterning in their concentrations within the clay
samples, a maximum of 14 composition regions can be
differentiated (Figure 4). These regions show mutually
exclusive combinations of element concentrations
(Table 1). Bivariate plots of PC scores generally
demonstrate a high level of overall similarity among
most samples within these regions (Figure 5).
However, all but ve of the composition regions
contain at least one sample outlier with anomalous
chemistry. Regions with no outliers include R2 (Ocmul-
gee River, n=4), R3 (Appalachicola valley, n=5), R4 (Tal-
lahassee Hills, n=4), R7 (northeast Florida coast, n=16),
and R9 (central peninsular Florida, n=5). Although
sample sizes are too small to evaluate the statistical
probability of group membership, partitions between
these ve groups can be consistently distinguished
visually in bivariate plots.
Among composition regions that show overlap-
ping bulk chemistry distributions in PC plots, one or
more elements can be used to distinguish them. For
example, R5 (north-central Florida) and R7 (northeast
Florida coast) are similar to one another in the concen-
trations of many elements, but a partition is discernible
in the concentrations of K and Cr (Figure 6).
Samples that could not be assigned to composition
regions occur in areas peripheral to or between the
dened regions and exhibit pronounced chemical vari-
ation. One group of eight samples from the western
panhandle that might logically form a compositional
region shows disparate elemental signatures that
cannot be resolved.
Petrographic Results
Based on point counting of 99 samples, eight fabric
groups were dened by the analysis (Table 2;
Figure 4 Chemical compositional regions indicated by NAA results.
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Table 1 Mean and standard deviation of element concentrations for each compositional region.
Region 1
Region 2
Region 3
Region 4
Region 5
Region 6
Region 7
Region 8
Region 9
Region 10
Region 11
Region 12
Region 13
Region 14
Element mean s.d. mean s.d. mean s.d. mean s.d. mean s.d. mean s.d. mean s.d. mean s.d. mean s.d. mean s.d. mean s.d. mean s.d. mean s.d. mean s.d.
Na (ppm) 832 1308 1991 1541 1049 709 131 30 362 549 689 752 12253 7169 2958 2317 173 62 710 568 8759 16869 9618 12399 1450 461 1353 1467
Al (%) 4.66 5.00 11.93 1.48 10.19 3.21 5.98 1.78 5.91 3.30 2.10 0.95 6.48 2.34 3.49 1.89 5.90 1.51 6.33 5.07 5.70 3.07 2.83 1.62 4.63 2.80 5.68 1.87
K (%) 0.67 0.97 0.90 0.51 0.99 0.50 0.18 0.24 0.22 0.20 0.14 0.18 1.00 0.36 0.48 0.59 0.06 0.05 0.30 0.23 0.51 0.21 0.34 0.19 0.48 0.29 0.38 0.49
Ca (%) 0.34 0.41 0.51 0.42 0.67 0.82 0.11 0.01 2.60 6.33 0.81 0.00 2.25 2.97 1.08 1.22 0.20 0.05 6.75 14.66 7.56 8.58 10.26 12.26 14.18 7.29 2.94 5.70
Sc (ppm) 109203165839943124 7 5 628 710 7 5 4 729 4
Ti (%) 0.38 0.33 0.74 0.05 0.63 0.21 0.43 0.11 0.43 0.16 0.51 0.06 0.47 0.09 0.25 0.10 0.52 0.11 0.45 0.15 0.40 0.12 0.23 0.08 0.24 0.10 0.35 0.07
V (ppm) 72 51 134 26 121 16 67 18 96 76 102 41 91 33 74 65 83 36 81 55 159 121 53 33 183 190 58 30
Cr (ppm) 50 48 90 16 113 30 60 10 110 95 35 21 76 27 97 46 92 59 80 84 148 88 60 40 150 116 57 31
Mn (ppm) 220 305 297 209 275 201 51 10 74 79 57 59 360 416 147 165 31 24 122 137 56 19 55 30 54 5 69 43
Fe (%) 2.17 1.85 3.84 1.27 2.84 0.69 1.92 0.74 1.53 1.03 0.86 0.40 3.38 1.52 1.95 1.14 1.22 0.38 1.15 0.87 1.77 0.94 1.06 0.47 1.90 0.52 1.90 1.00
Co (ppm) 10 13 16 6 13 4 3 1 6 10 2 2 8 5 3 2 2 0 5 6 4 2 2 1 6 5 3 1
Zn (ppm) 45 50 173 187 80 28 29 9 31 19 43 53 66 30 45 29 17 8 36 34 36 20 33 38 50 52 81 153
As (ppm) 3 1 3 1 2153425312108 8 312 1 4 3 7 7 753 3
Rb (ppm) 37 52 53 21 58 30 17 14 17 15 11 11 58 23 31 38 6 2 24 18 32 12 14 7 27 15 18 17
Sr (ppm) 72 0 79 18 239 321 358 255 475 610 152 0 178 137 137 74 473 503 961 1097 570 679 961 949 585 427 284 349
Zr (ppm) 252 160 384 138 335 121 373 48 399 180 436 131 308 163 263 26 387 189 235 118 322 95 223 128 483 449 212 71
Sb (ppm) 0 0 0 0 00101010 0 0 1 1 000 0 1 0 1 1 210 0
Cs (ppm) 2 3 5 2 42202111 4 2 2 2 103 2 3 1 1 1 321 1
Ba (ppm) 316 385 402 154 414 74 372 108 228 206 56 57 210 90 60 31 249 203 157 112 154 29 117 85 393 407 148 138
La (ppm) 46 26 67 22 64 18 44 18 41 26 19 5 42 15 32 17 42 18 31 23 38 17 28 21 30 19 24 11
Ce (ppm) 112 73 151 66 127 45 83 37 76 48 38 10 86 28 46 15 71 32 61 46 68 32 52 38 64 39 51 25
Nd (ppm) 34 22 61 25 52 14 39 10 35 28 17 5 36 10 25 17 33 19 27 20 33 15 37 37 37 23 21 11
Sm (ppm) 7 5125113938741 7 2 6 4 755 4 8 4 6 5 1085 2
Eu (ppm) 1 1 2 1 21211200 1 1 1 1 111 1 1 1 1 1 111 0
Tb (ppm) 1 1 2 1 10111100 1 0 1 1 111 1 1 0 1 1 101 0
Dy (ppm) 4 4 9 4 93747930 5 1 7 6 654 3 5 2 5 4 423 2
Yb (ppm) 3 3 5 2 514147203 1 3 3 212 2 3 1 2 2 212 1
Lu (ppm) 0 0 1 0 101011000 0 0 0 000 0 1 0 1 1 110 0
Hf (ppm) 9 6 13 5 11 5 13 1 12 8 17 3 11 6 10 2 13 5 7 3 9 4 5 1 3 1 7 2
Ta (ppm) 1 1 2 0 211010101 0 1 0 101 1 1 0 0 0 101 0
Th (ppm) 10 7 19 2 17 4 12 4 12 6 7 0 12 3 9 4 10 3 8 6 10 5 6 6 6 2 8 3
U (ppm) 326174711011644322749 812101316637156
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Figure 7). As Table 2 and Figure 7 show, there is tre-
mendous overlap in matrix and sand percentages for
the clay samples. Most clays contain sands in varying
quantities, dominated by monocrystalline quartz, as
does much of the pottery we have studied. Feldspars
(plagioclase and microcline), muscovite mica, and
epidote are commonly observed accessory minerals,
but usually in trace amounts, less than one percent.
Other accessory minerals noted more rarely include
biotite, ilmenite, rutile, zircon, amphibole, kyanite, and
tourmaline (e.g., Cordell 1992;1993;2006;2007;
Cordell and Deagan 2013; Pluckhahn and Cordell 2011).
But the fabric groups were not dened by matrix
and sand percentages. Fabrics were dened on the
Figure 5 Chemical composition regions plotted on Principal Component 1 and Principal Component 2. Ellipses
represent 90 percent probability of group membership.
Figure 6 Bivariate plot of chemical composition regions. Ellipses represent 90 percent probability of group
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basis of abundance of particular mineral or rock con-
stituents in some cases (e.g., mica, limestone, ferric
nodules), and consistent presence of siliceous
microfossils (sponge spicules, diatoms) in most
others. The rst group, designated Fabric SandB,
makes up over half of the sample (n=50) and is charac-
terized by quartz sand as the predominant constituent
(Figure 8a), with a paucity of siliceous microfossils,
mica, and other constituents. This category is hetero-
geneous in terms of quantity of sand and sand
texture (particle size) (Figure 7b) but fairly homo-
geneous in sand composition (Figure 7c).
Two categories are similar to Fabric SandB but
differ in the frequency of siliceous microfossils. Fabric
Figure 7 Ternary diagrams for fabric groupings.
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SandD (n=5) is characterized by the prominence of
quartz sand and occasional but consistent occurrence
of sponge spicules and phytoliths (Figure 8b). The
grouping is heterogenous in terms of bulk compo-
sition and sand texture but homogeneous in sand
composition. Fabric SandEb (n=13) is similar to Fabric
SandD but includes consistent occurrence of diatoms
among the siliceous microfossils (Figure 8c). This
grouping is heterogeneous in terms of bulk compo-
sition and sand texture but is fairly homogeneous in
sand composition.
Fabric MICA is micaceous (n=4). The grouping is
characterized by prominence of quartz sand, 35%
mica (muscovite) (Figure 8d), and variable occurrence
of siliceous microfossils. The grouping is fairly homo-
geneous in terms of bulk composition, sand compo-
sition, and sand texture. Fabric SPC (n=3) is
characterized by common sponge spicules, between
10 and 19 percent (Figure 8e). The group is relatively
heterogeneous in terms of bulk composition and
sand texture, but homogeneous in sand composition.
Fabric CALC (n=9) is characterized by a calcareous
matrix composition (Figure 8f), indicated by calcite
high order birefringence and vigorous positive reac-
tion to HCl (matrix character of the other fabrics
ranges from nearly opaque to very low birefringence).
This grouping is heterogeneous in terms of bulk
composition and sand texture, but is relatively homo-
geneous in terms of sand composition. Fabric LMS
(n=5) contains limestone and/or shell constituents in
an otherwise non calcareous matrix (Figure 8 g). The
grouping is fairly homogeneous in bulk and sand com-
position, but very heterogeneous in sand texture.
Except for the limestone or shell constituents,
members of Fabric LMS are consistent with SandB,
SandD, and SandEb fabrics. Fabric NODULES (n=10)
contains frequent ferric and/or clayey phosphatic
nodules (Figure 8 h). Nodule composition is hetero-
geneous, as is bulk composition. Sand texture is fairly
Despite apparent extreme variability in sand abun-
dance in our sample, over 50 percent of samples
within each fabric group exhibit compositions well
within range of actual pottery samples (Table 2). In com-
paring our compositional data with actual pottery
samples, it is apparent that composition variation in
some pottery assemblages can be explained by variation
in naturally present constituents in the clays (Figure 9).
Although some samples were probably not viable candi-
dates for pottery making owing to excessive sandiness,
we speculate that over half of the samples whose com-
positional ranges occur outside those of the pottery
could be processed with minimal effort to increase or
decrease sand abundance. Sand texture or particle size
Figure 8 Photomicrographs of fabric groups: a) SandB; b) SandD; c) SandEb; d) SPC; e) calc; f) LMS; g) MICA; h)
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Table 2 Summary descriptions of fabric/resource groupings (petrographic data).
clay fabric groups sample size (pet/ NAA) %matrix %sand sponge spicules diatoms mica comments
% matrix
% sand
B 50/27 21-96%
none to rare none none to rare otherwise similar to matrix D 43-70%
57% (32)
D 5/4 40-84%
1-3% none none to rare otherwise similar to matrix B 50-75%
62% (16)
Eb 13/8 35-93%
1-3% occ to frq none to rare otherwise similar to matrix D 49-79.5%
62.5% (9)
35% (9)
SPC 3/1 52-79%
9-25% none none to rare sandy St. Johns 36-70%
calc 9/8 29-99%
var var none to rare calcareous matrix NA NA
LMS 5/5 30-74%
none in most none none to rare in most 1 case with 1% spc and 3% mica 55-64%
60% (3)
32% (3)
MICA 4/4 54-72%
var P in two cases 3-5% . 47-79.5%
62% (72)
NODULE 10/6 30-86%
none to rare none none otherwise similar to matrix B 31-74%
58 (15)
36% (15)
selected samples from ongoing Swift Creek pottery study (Cordell et al.2015) unless noted otherwise. Number after percentage in parentheses is sample size.
For %matrix, more than 50% of samples fall into range of pottery samples; processing would be minimal in most other samples; for %sand, almost 50% of samples fall into range of pottery samples; proces-
sing would be minimal; processing would be minimal in most other samples; excessive processing would be required for about 25% of the samples outside the pottery range.
For %matrix, 2 of the 5 cases fall into range of pottery samples; processing would be minimal in 2 of the other samples. For %sand, 2 of the 5 cases fall into range of pottery samples; processing might be
extensive in the other 3 samples.
For %matrix, more than 50% of samples fall into range of pottery samples; processing would be minimal most other samples. For %sand, almost 40% of the samples occur within the pottery range; proces-
sing would be moderate to extensive for the other samples.
sandy St. Johns pottery samples from Cordell 2007; Cordell and Deagan 2013; Cordell et al.2015; For % matrix, 2 of the 3 samples are within range of pottery; processing of the third would be minimal. For %
sand, 1 of the 3 samples occurs within the pottery range, but processing of the other 2 would be minimal.
For %matrix, 3 of the 5 samples are within range of pottery; processing of a fourth sample would be minimal. For % sand, all samples are within the pottery range.
For %matrix and % sand, all four micaceous samples occur within range of micaceous pottery.
For % matrix, 6 of the 10 nodule samples occur within the range of nodule fabric pottery; processing of the others would be minimal. For % sand, 5 of the 10 samples occur within the range of nodular pottery;
minimal to extensive processing would be required of the others.
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variation within Florida pottery also conforms to sand
size variation observed in the natural clay samples.
Given the known variability in Florida pottery, highly cal-
careous clays were not used in pottery making.
Some of the fabric groups show restricted spatial
distributions while others do not (Figure 10). Among
the groups that are ubiquitous or scattered throughout
the study area are fabrics SandB, SandD, SPC, and
NODULES. However, phosphatic nodules (n=5), with
one exception, are restricted to western and southern
Florida, reecting exposures of the Hawthorn group.
Clays of Fabric SandEb, dened by the presence of
siliceous microfossils that include diatoms, are nearly
restricted to coastal northeast Florida and southeast
Georgia, coincident with chemical composition
Region 7. Single occurrences are also recorded in
north-central Florida and southwest Florida.
Nearly 80 percent of calcareous clays in the sample
come from southwest Florida, but they also occur on
occasion in northerly areas of the state. This distri-
bution correlates with the Hawthorn group outcrop-
ping of carbonates in southwest Florida. One
Figure 9 Ternary diagrams for all clay samples and pottery (n=157) from Wallis et al.(2014).
Figure 10 Distribution of fabric groups identied by petrographic analysis.
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calcareous sample from southwest Florida also con-
tained nine percent spicules, just below the threshold
for membership in the SPC fabric. Micaceous clays with
high frequencies of mica occur exclusively in south-
eastern Georgia and the Florida panhandle, although
clays with occasional incidence of mica occur through-
out the study area. Finally, the small sample of Fabric
LMS occurs only in deposits from southwest and north-
west Florida.
Trends in the raw compositional data are also
notable (Figure 7). Most of the sandiest clays derive
from the northwest part of the study area that includes
north-central Florida, the Florida panhandle, and
southwest Georgia. These areas also contain the
nest textured clays in terms of sand size, while the
coarsest are located in southwest Georgia, Florida pan-
handle, and the middle St. Johns. Finally, non-quartz
mineral inclusions are most common in the northern
half of the study area and decrease toward the south.
In summary, if compositional regions were to be
constructed on the basis of fabric groupings alone,
three broad regions could be identied: (1) southwest
Florida, characterized by a high frequency of calcar-
eous clays and phosphatic nodules; (2) coastal north-
east Florida/southeast Georgia, typied by a high
frequency of clays containing diatoms and ne tex-
tured sand particles; (3) and northwest Florida/south-
east Georgia, with micaceous clays.
Many of the fabric groupings identied by petro-
graphic analysis show correlations with chemical com-
position and corresponding compositional regions
(Figure 11). Not surprisingly, calcareous clays are
enriched in Ca, but they also show consistency in the
enrichment of other elements such as U and K, reect-
ing their southwest Florida provenance. Micaceous
clays are, naturally, enriched in K and Rb but also
enriched in Na and Fe. Fabric SandEb, dened primar-
ily by the presence of diatoms, is nearly equivalent to
chemical region 7, and thus members show consistent
enrichment in Fe, Rb, and K. In terms of provenance
indicators, the spatial distribution of fabric groupings
therefore corroborate, rather than further separate,
some of the suggested chemical composition regions.
Together, these data predict that the scale at
which the provenance of pottery can be identied
varies greatly across the study region. Compositional
regions range from 50 km (e.g., R11) to nearly 400
km (e.g., R7) in length. Notably, almost none of the
compositional regions are bounded on every side by
clay samples with contrasting compositions, and
therefore each region may be larger than presently
dened. Moreover, outlier chemical and fabric compo-
sitions are common and boundaries between compo-
sitional regions are ambiguous. These sources of
variation ultimately degrade the reliability of prove-
nance studies conducted on too ne a scale or on
the margins of compositional regions. The shape and
scale of compositional regions and their often amor-
phous boundaries favor identication of nonlocal
vessels transported between the coasts and the
interior, or more generally, transported more than
150 km.
The direction of vessel transport is critically impor-
tant to determining the travel distance required to
identify nonlocal production. A pot from the coast of
northeast Florida (R7) has a good possibility of being
distinguished from pots made just 50 km inland (R6).
Figure 11 Bulk chemistry of fabric groupings plotted on Principal Component 1 and Principal Component 2.
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In contrast, a vessel made on the Atlantic coast of
central Florida (R7) and transported 300 km north to
the coast of Georgia (also R7) might blend into the
local assemblage unless located far enough north
that micaceous clays are more common (Figure 7).
Although useful in establishing baseline trends in
regional chemistry and mineral inclusions, specic
clays in the region have only occasionally provided
convincing matchesto pottery samples. In fact, the
range of variation among clays within identied com-
positional regions tends to exceed the variation of
earthenware vessels presumed to have been manufac-
tured locally in those regions. A comparison of all
pottery samples (n=1290) and clay samples (n=130)
analyzed by NAA bears out these differences in
terms of chemical composition (Figure 12). The
pottery samples derive from three separate projects
(Ashley et al.2015; Gilmore 2014; Wallis 2011; Wallis
et al.2014) and encompass much of the time span
during which pottery was produced as well as a
large range of tempers such as ber, quartz sand,
grog, charcoal, and sponge spicules. These samples
include vessels made locally in every one of the chemi-
cal composition regions except R13 and R14. Even with
this variability in temper constituents, the range of
variation in bulk chemical composition among the
pottery samples is smaller than among the clay
samples. This difference is undoubtedly due in part
to the pottery manufacturing process, in which paste
recipes achieved a degree of standardization by con-
sistently removing and adding constituents. The differ-
ence between pottery and clays may also result from
analysis of clays that are not suitable for vessel pro-
duction, such as those that are too sandy or too calcar-
eous. Future ceramic ecology projects in the study area
can strengthen these inferences by screening clay
samples according to manufacturing viability and per-
formance characteristics.
Archaeological Implications
Fortunately, the scale and direction of ancient vessel
transport in many cases matches the scale of reliability
for nonlocal provenance indicators. Case studies from
three regions demonstrate the efcacy of NAA and
petrography in pottery provenance studies in the
study area. Each project identied nonlocal vessels
that had been transported between the compositional
regions dened above and were located more than
100 km from their respective clay sources.
1. Gilmore (2014) investigated the scale of the
social interactions conducted at Late Archaic Orange
period (46003500 cal B.P.) shell mounds in Florida
by focusing on the provenance of the ber-tempered
pottery contained within mounds and related places.
A total of 288 sherds was analyzed from ve contem-
porary Late Archaic contexts (including two large
shell mounds, a specialized shellsh processing area,
and two separate habitation spaces) at Silver Glen
(sites 8LA1 and 8MR123), a sprawling shell mound
complex in the middle St. Johns River valley. All of
the sampled sherds were submitted for NAA, while
75 of them were also subjected to petrographic
Based on the NAA results, three distinct chemical
composition groups were identied, which together
account for 52.7% of the total analyzed sample.
Group 1 (n=33) and Group 2 (n=46) are chemically
very similar, with Group 1 exhibiting slightly higher
concentrations of most measured elements. The only
Figure 12 All pottery and clay samples analyzed from the study area plotted on Principal Component 1 and
Principal Component 2. Ellipses represent 90 percent probability of group membership.
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exceptions are Mn, As, Zr, and Hf, all of which show
higher concentrations in Group 2 than Group
1. Group 3 (n=73) stands out as the most chemically
distinct and least internally variable of the three
groups. It is characterized by substantially lower con-
centrations of most elements compared to Groups 1
and 2 and is especially decient in Fe and Cr. Group
3 does, however, exhibit the highest levels of three
elementsNa, Sb, and U.
A comparison of the chemical data from the
pottery to clay reference samples reveals that Group
1 and Group 2 sherds align closely with clays found
local to the Silver Glen complex and the surrounding
area of northeast Florida. Like the pottery, local clays
are relatively enriched in elements such as Fe, K, and
Rb and correspondingly depleted in Na and U. This
close correspondence is readily apparent in the con-
sistent clustering of northeast Florida clays with
Groups 1 and 2 across multiple principal components
plots. In contrast, a chemical prole resembling
Group 3characterized by comparatively high con-
centrations of Na, Sb, and U but extremely low levels
of Fehas yet to be located in the region surrounding
Silver Glen. The closest likely source is more than 200
km to the southwest, between Tampa Bay and Char-
lotte Harbor, where exposures of phosphate-rich clay
deposits within the Hawthorn group exhibit a virtually
identical chemical pattern.
The petrography results help to clarify and corro-
borate the provenance conclusions drawn from NAA.
Overall, Group 1 and Group 2 sherds tend to mirror
northern Florida clays in their relative richness in
ferric nodules and mica. The primary distinction
between these two groups is the higher concentration
of heavy-mineral-rich sand present in Group 2, likely
tying these sherds to Trail Ridge or a similar relic coast-
line feature in northern Florida. Group 3 sherds were
conversely found to be ner-grained and largely
devoid of mineral inclusions aside from occasional
quartz sand. The most distinctive paste characteristic
of Group 3 pottery is its consistent abundance of fresh-
water sponge spicules and other siliceous microfossils,
most likely a sign of cultural tempering practices rather
than natural clay composition.
Together, the NAA and petrography results
suggest that Group 1 and Group 2 vessels were manu-
factured from raw materials collected locally in north-
east Florida, while Group 3 vessels were imported,
perhaps over a distance of hundreds of kilometers.
Importantly, Groups 1 and 2 pottery is distributed
across all ve of the tested Silver Glen contexts,
while Group 3 samples are restricted to the complexs
two shell mounds. These data indicate that Silver
Glens mounds were the sites of larger, more socially
inclusive social interactions than other types of con-
temporary places. This provides substantial empirical
credibility to the argument that at least some Late
Archaic monuments were the sites of large-scale gath-
erings that integrated people and pots from across
large sections of peninsular Florida.
2. Two projects have focused on the Atlantic coast
of northeast Florida and southeast Georgia spanning
the Middle Woodland through Early Mississippian
periods (ca. AD 200 to AD 1250). Among Woodland
burial mounds and villages in northeast Florida and
southeast Georgia, Wallis (2011; Wallis et al.2010;
Wallis and Cordell 2013) analyzed 313 vessels by
NAA and 69 samples by petrography. Pottery
samples across the entire project area were generally
chemically similar to one another except in the con-
centrations of Co and Cr. Samples from southeast
Georgia sites were dominated by consistently elevated
Co concentrations and depleted Cr while pottery from
northeast Florida sites were depleted in Co and
enriched in Cr. Mineral inclusions were generally
similar across the region except southeast Georgia
samples contained consistently higher frequencies of
mica (muscovite) inclusions while some northeast
Florida samples were distinguished by frequent phyto-
liths and occasional sponge spicules.
A total of 11 pottery samples on lower St. Johns
River sites were identied as likely originating from
the area of the Altamaha River between Region 2
and Region 7, about 120 km north of the lower
St. Johns. The nonlocal vessels were identied by Co
enrichment and Cr depletion. Trends in vessel mor-
phology, a fabric characterized by grit temper, and
makers marks from the wooden paddles used to
impress vessels with various designs all corroborated
the identication of an Altamaha River provenance.
Although making up only six percent of the total
northeast Florida sample assemblage, the Altamaha-
made vessels comprised 23 percent of the burial
mound sample. All but two were Swift Creek Compli-
cated Stamped vessels that exhibited impressions of
the iconography from carved wooden paddles. These
vessels were the basis for interpreting evidence of
Middle Woodland interactions as consisting primarily
of gift exchanges linked to mortuary ceremonies.
On the basis of NAA results alone, Ashley et al.
(2015) identied nonlocal pottery on Early Mississip-
pian period sites on the lower St. Johns and northeast
Florida coastal barrier islands. A total of 116 sherds
from across eastern Florida, Georgia, and southern
South Carolina was analyzed. Thirteen Ocmulgee Cord-
marked samples from northeast Florida (Region 7),
making up 24 percent of the assemblages from that
region, were identied as originating from the Ocmul-
gee/Altamaha River area (Region 2). The occurrence of
these nonlocal wares was further supported by the
results of sherd oxidation analysis. In this case, the dis-
tance between locations of production and deposition
may have been as much as 200 km. As with the Wallis
(2011) study, nonlocal samples were enriched in Co.
However, Cr depletion was a less reliable indicator.
The data were instrumental in identifying both
imported and locally produced Ocmulgee Cordmarked
wares in domestic and ritual St. Johns II (AD 9001250)
contexts. A consistent minority ware on lower St. Johns
sites, the local and nonlocal Ocmulgee Cordmarked
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vessels were indistinguishable stylistically, morpho-
logically, and on a microscopic (45X) level, leading
Ashley et al.(2015) to argue that their presence reects
extensive exchange and perhaps direct visits and inter-
marriage among residents of the two regions. These
social relations would have been critical to providing
access to the Early Mississippian world of the interior
continent whereby St. Johns II communities obtained
exotic materials such as copper, stone and a variety
of other minerals.
3. As part of an ongoing project, Wallis et al.(2014)
studied Middle and Late Woodland period (ca. AD 200
to 800) Swift Creek Complicated Stamped pottery from
across the Gulf coastal plain of Florida and Georgia.
Pottery from sites in Region 1 (southwest Georgia;
n=73), Region 4 (eastern panhandle; n=65) and
Region 8 (peninsular Gulf coast; n=149) were analyzed
by NAA and petrography. Locally-made pottery vessels
from these regions generally conform to the expec-
tations of the clay analysis presented in this paper
with one major exception. Pottery from sites in south-
west Georgia, rather than being depleted in K as pre-
dicted by the clay analysis, is almost uniformly
enriched. This difference indicates that the three
clayey sediment samples analyzed so far are not repre-
sentative of the available ceramic resources in the
Among the many locally-made vessels across the
study region, one of the site assemblages on the
peninsular Gulf coast was particularly notable for the
high frequency of nonlocal pottery derived from the
other two regions. Among 12 samples from the
Hughes Island Mound (8DI45), ve are local to
Region 8, depleted in Ba and enriched in Cr. The
remaining seven samples are clearly nonlocal,
enriched in Ba and depleted in Cr. Most of the nonlocal
vessels have a micaceous fabric. Differentiating
between Region 1 and Region 4 has proved challen-
ging, but on the basis of depleted Cr and enriched
Na, ve of the vessels were more likely made in
Region 1 while two may have been made in Region
4. Matching makers marks of unique wooden manu-
facturing tools—“paddle matches”—that span these
regions conrms the transport of vessels up to 300
km. These data denote a high frequency in the trans-
port of vessels from the largest civic-ceremonial
centers, located in compositional regions 1 and 4, to
small burial mounds on the Gulf coast.
Through analysis of clay samples collected throughout
Florida and southern Georgia, this study assessed vari-
ation in bulk chemistry and mineral inclusions among
ceramic resources that were available to ancient
potters. Compositional variation among clays is
spatially patterned to the extent that 14 unique com-
positional regions can be identied. Elements with
notable spatial patterning in clay samples across the
region include K, Ca, V, Cr, Fe, Co, Rb, Sb, Ba, Eu, Tb,
and U. Mineral inclusions with spatial patterning
include mica (muscovite), calcareous matrix, phospha-
tic nodules, and diatoms. Variability in bulk chemistry
and mineral inclusions among clayey samples even
within compositional and the inferred paste proces-
sing traditions of ancient potters result in very few
undeniable matchesbetween clayey samples and
archaeological pottery. Anomalies are not infrequent
in the present sample, particularly in bulk chemistry,
and demonstrate that the scale at which pottery pro-
venance can be reliably identied is minimally hun-
dreds of kilometers.
The dened compositional regions account for the
success of multiple pottery provenance studies that
have identied nonlocal vessels transported between
100 km and 300 km from their constituent clay
sources. The distribution of diagnostic signatures in
chemistry and mineral inclusions predicts that longi-
tudinal transport of vessels, such as between the
coasts and interior parts of the study area will be ana-
lytically recognizable at a smaller scale than most lati-
tudinal movements such as along the interior of the
Florida peninsula.
Neill J. Wallis
Portions of this research were supported by National
Science Foundation Grants 1111397, 1110793,
1302813, and 1415403, and Wenner Gren Foundation
Grant 8337. We also thank all of the archaeologists
who have collected clay samples in Florida and
Georgia over the last four decades.
Supplemental Data
Supplemental data for this research can be accessed at
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... The possible reason is that tempering material when mixed with the clay matrix, strongly affect the entire mineralogical composition, and neglect the differences among the clayey materials. Applying the petrological studies is therefore necessary to emphasize the difference between the compositions of clay matrix and tempering material to identify the raw material preferences related to a specific technology, i.e. social group (Rice, 1987;Wallis et al., 2015). The study results point to several potential raw material sources exploited by ancient potters. ...
Consideration of multiperiod archaeological sites to understand the mechanisms of large-scale cultural changes is still a very rare research topic in Croatia. Technological traditions are of great importance, especially in the context of considering continuity, innovation, and change. In this paper, we used an archaeometric approach to investigate pottery technology. Therefore, this article presents an analysis of petrography and mineralogy of archaeological ceramics and potential raw materials collected in the vicinity of the multi-period archaeological site (the Neolithic through the Medieval period) Jagodnjak-Krčevine located in eastern Croatia, i.e. the south-western part of the Pannonian Basin. The primary goal is to determine what kind of clay recipe (clay and temper) potters used to make vessels in order to better understand their variability in the context of techno-functional features. The additional objective is to examine the availability and quality of clays for pottery production and to study their distribution in the local landscape. The analytical methods applied in the research are optical microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and grain size analysis. The comparison of archaeological ceramics with clayey materials established that ancient potters used locally available clays, and the selection of temper material added to the clay represents a strong element of techno-tradition, which is more pronounced for prehistoric communities. Furthermore, these results represent the first research in Croatia focused on a discussion about distances that potters travelled to obtain their resources in the different periods of the past, which can contribute to the study of a regional system of production and landscape use.
... To assess the origin of the submerged stone pillars in the Tsumajiro area (hereafter, Tsumajiro pillars), we analyzed the physical properties, mineralogy, and geochemistry of the pillars, of building stones in use in the Tsumajiro area (as analogs of the pillars), and of rocks from natural exposures and quarries in Tsumajiro and neighboring areas (as potential source materials of the pillars). We applied multivariate statistical analysis methods to the resulting data that have been shown to be useful in provenance studies (Barbera et al., 2009;Wallis et al., 2015). Though data on rock physical properties are still rarely used in archaeological studies (Kosaka, 1998;Cho, 2015), such data can help us assess the provenance of the pillars. ...
Human-made structures and shaped stones on the seafloor near coasts, possibly submerged by tsunami waves, coseismic subsidence, or flooding during typhoons, can often be linked to folk traditions of ancient natural disasters. Stone pillars that appear to have been artificially shaped are submerged in shallow waters inshore Tosashimizu city, southeast Japan, an area subject to repeated Nankai Trough earthquakes. We performed geophysical and geochemical analyses of samples from these pillars, building stones in use in villages in the Tsumajiro area, and nearby natural rock outcrops. In porosity and grain density, the pillars are similar to sandstone from the Tatsukushi Formation and to foundation stones used in the villages; this similarity was confirmed by a principal component analysis of chemical composition data. The shape and surface morphology of the pillars are also similar to those of the foundation stones and stone steps at nearby temples. Therefore, we inferred that the submerged stone pillars were made from Tatsukushi sandstone and had been utilized as building stones for structures such as steps and foundations in Tsumajiro village possibly >100 years ago. Because radiocarbon ages obtained on calcareous fragments adhering to the pillars were inconclusive, when, and by what process, the stone pillars were transported from the land and submerged in the sea is still uncertain.
... Samples have been characterized by physical properties and analyzed via petrography, neutron activation analysis, and other methods, permitting the comparison between clay resources and archaeological pottery (e.g., Cordell, 1984;Gilmore, 2016;Wallis, 2011). To date, none of these nearly 300 samples has had the same mechanical and physical attributes of St. Johns or other spiculate pottery (Cordell and Koski, 2003;Lollis et al., 2015;Wallis et al., 2015). Some clay samples are high in spicules, but exhibit high shrinkage and become friable when fired. ...
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Fine-grained “chalky” pottery containing microscopic sponge spicules is commonly recovered from archaeological sites throughout peninsular Florida, but many questions remain about its composition and origins. It is identified by different names, but most are associated with the St. Johns Type series. While it has been commonly assumed to originate in the St. Johns River drainage for which it is named, the prevalence of pottery with these characteristics in other locations has presented the likelihood of independent production in multiple places. In this study, we conducted LA-ICP-MS and XRD analysis of spiculate pottery from three Woodland period (ca. 1000 BCE to 1000 CE) sites, along with comparative clay samples, in order to characterize the raw materials and determine the geographic scope of production. Our results support the theory that this ware was independently produced across peninsular Florida. We further evaluate the hypothesis that this pottery was made with common wetland muck, through consideration of the material properties of muck constituents. This project emphasizes the importance of an ecosystem framework for understanding the long history of spiculate pottery production and its geographic spread within Florida.
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Tillandsia usneoides (L.), an epiphytic member of the Bromeliaceae (pineapple family), has exceptional properties and biomimetic potential for technical textile applications. Tillandsia are referred to as “air plants” or “atmospheric bromeliads” since they absorb water and nutrients directly from the air through the trichomes that cover their leaves, rather than from the soil or organic material. The plant uses its roots only for clings to the place where it is found. It has long, curly, grayish leaves that grow downward and usually hang from the branches of trees. The plant is native primarily to the American South and has been used by locals for a variety of purposes for many years. Although its use as a filler is one of the oldest uses, thanks to its insulating properties, the forked growth structure of the plant’s leaves and its ability to absorb moisture and nutrients from the air into the cell without needing roots, thanks to the trichomes on the leaves, are of great importance in biomimetic studies. In recent years, there have been many studies investigating its use as a biomonitor, especially in studies measuring air pollution. In addition, architectural applications have been developed that biomimetically mimic the fiber surface and cell structure and ceiling and wall systems with various properties, such as ambient moisture dissipation and ventilation. Based on these studies, the use of the unusual properties of the air plant Tillandsia Usneoides (L.) (Spanish moss) as a textile material and their application to textile materials as biomimetics have significant potential in terms of qualified technical textile applications. As a textile material, it has properties that are important for textile structures, such as comfort, durability, breathability, thermal insulation, and shock absorption. It also promises environmentally friendly production, thanks to its self-growth in nature, absence of chemicals or pesticides in production, natural structure, and biodegradable properties. In this chapter, the structure and properties of the air plant Tillandsia Usneoides L. (Spanish moss), its use as a textile material, and the importance and potential of biomimetic applications were thoroughly investigated using the literature with regard to sustainable technical textile applications.KeywordsSpanish mossAir plant Tillandsia usneoides BromeliaceaeBiomonitoringTechnical textilesInsulation textiles
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Archaeologists have not readily applied collective action and institutional approaches to the study of hunter-gatherers. This is especially true of the American Southeast. Here, I use a review of the recent literature to illustrate the value of such approaches to understanding long-term histories. This review of hunter-gatherer archaeology spans the entire temporal range of Native American history in the Southeast. I argue that the term “hunter-gatherers” itself is constraining. In its place, I suggest that a focus on institutional change and collective action provides a way to better connect histories across temporal units, which then allows for a greater understanding of how such traditions developed, were maintained (or abandoned), and reinvented over the course of history. At the end of the review, I pose five key research areas that archaeologists should focus on that speak to institutions, the nature of public and private goods, common pool resources, and collective action regarding large-scale labor projects.
The “allure of the exotic” dominates both the substance and practice of the archaeology of the Hopewell phenomenon in eastern North America. Ceramics have often been considered less important to Hopewellian exchange, perhaps because they are typically considered local products. I review whole vessels recovered by C. B. Moore from the Crystal River site (8CI1) and curated at the National Museum of the American Indian. Although limited to macroscopic description of form, paste, and decoration, this analysis suggests that ceramic vessels were commonly imported, probably mostly from other ceremonial centers within the region. More than just byproducts of broader interactions, extra-local ceramic vessels were integral to the development of Crystal River by materializing regional alliances and the metaphorical understanding of community as container.
The oldest pottery technology in North America was innovated by hunter-gatherers belonging to the Late Archaic Stallings culture (ca. 5150-3200 cal B.P.) of Georgia and South Carolina. The culture history of Stallings societies is relatively well-known; however, the permanence and scale of Stallings communities, the nature of the connections among them, and the extent to which they changed over time remain poorly understood. In this study, 450 samples Stallings pottery and 24 raw clay resource samples from along the Savannah and Ogeechee Rivers were submitted for neutron activation analysis (NAA). The NAA results show a significant shift in the nature of vessel transport at the outset of the Classic Stallings phase (4100–3800 cal B.P.), an interval marked by the appearance of the region's first formalized circular villages and dedicated cemeteries. This shift involved the funneling of pots with carinated rims into a few major middle Savannah River mortuary sites, providing evidence for a novel Stallings sociality that combined relatively localized village life with periodic large-scale ritual gatherings.
The study was carried out in two villages namely Madri and Jamun of Jhadol panchayat samiti in Udaipur district of southern Rajasthan from 156 Bhil respondents. Udaipur attains the 18th rank in Health Index (1997-98). A facility of primary health center (PHC) and ayurvedic hospital at Madri serves the purpose of health care of both of the villages at government level. Bhils believe in multi- causation theory regarding occurrence of diseases. Doctor, ANM, VHG, Bhopa, traditional herbalist, traditional birth attendant are some of the health personnels. Home medication is followed by treatment of Bhopa or/and herbalist. If the ailment is not cured by traditional healers, patient is taken to the allopathic doctor. If the patient doesn’t get well evenafter doctor’s prescription, he is again taken to the Bhopa- the ultimate doctor of the Bhil community. Treatment by a doctor and a Bhopa are two poles apart from each other. Herbal treatment finds its way in between two extreme therapies.
Late Archaic period fiber-tempered pottery from Florida has been variously called Orange (Bullen 1972; Griffin 1945b), semifiber tempered (Bullen and Bullen 1953), Norwood (Bullen 1969; Phelps 1965), and simply fiber tempered. The relationships of the various fiber-tempered wares found in different parts of Florida-and of the peoples who made them-are poorly understood. In this chapter, paste variability in fiber-tempered pottery from several peninsular Florida sites is investigated. The primary focus is on southwest Florida sites and Orange culture sites in east Florida, but the study includes sites from the central peninsular Gulf Coast and Okeechobee areas. Pottery samples are compared in terms of aplastic composition and other physical properties to document interregional similarities and differences. These data are then used to suggest possible manufacturing origins for different paste categories and to explore the possibility of interaction between east Florida and Gulf coastal populations. The results will show that paste analysis will be essential in resolving patterns of interregional interactions. © 2004 by The University of Alabama Press. All rights reserved.
Clays in the fine fraction of nearshore marine sediments from the southeastern United States are mineralogically different from clays from the rivers which drain i n t o nearshore areas. River clays average 60 percent kaolinite with vermiculite next in abundance, and illite, chlorite, and montmorillonite present in minor amounts. The main source of river clay must be the weathered feldspathic metamorphic rocks of the Piedmont. Small rivers which rise in the Coastal Plain carry montmorillonite and kaolinite, but their quantitative contribution to nearshore areas is very small. Nearshore marine clays of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina average 50 percent montmorillonite, whereas those of North Carolina contain both illite and montmorillonite in abundance. A significant part of the nearshore clays must, therefore, come from non-river sources. Shelf clays are montmorillonitic except off North Carolina where they are illitic as well. Hence, some nearshore clays may be derived either from the shelf or perhaps from erosion of coastal Pleistocene outcrops. Some illitic clay may be transported southward to North Carolina from shore and shelf areas to the north, but this mechanism appears not to operate south of North Carolina. River vermiculite may absorb potassium in the marine environment and collapse t o a 10-A illite spacing.
Petrography is the microscopic examination of thin sections of pottery to determine their precise mineralogical composition. In this groundbreaking work, James B. Stoltman applies quantitative as well as qualitative methods to the petrography of Native American ceramics. As explained in Ceramic Petrography and Hopewell Interaction, by adapting refinements to the technique of petrography, Stoltman offers a powerful new set of tools that enables fact-based and rigorous identification of the composition and sources of pottery. Stoltman's subject is the cultural interaction among the Hopewell Interaction Sphere societies of the Ohio Valley region and contemporary peoples of the Southeast. Inferring social and commercial relationships between disparate communities by determining whether objects found in one settlement originated there or elsewhere is a foundational technique of archaeology. The technique, however, rests on the informed but necessarily imperfect visual inspection of objects by archaeologists. Petrography greatly amplifies archaeologists' ability to determine objects“ provenance with greater precision and less guesswork. Using petrography to study a vast quantity of pottery samples sourced from Hopewell communities, Stoltman is able for the first time to establish which items are local, which are local but atypical, and which originated elsewhere. Another exciting possibility with petrography is to further determine the home source of objects that came from afar. Thus, combining traditional qualitative techniques with a wealth of new quantitative data, Ceramic Petrography and Hopewell Interaction offers a map of social and trade relationships among communities within and beyond the Hopewell Interaction Sphere with much greater precision and confidence than in the past. Ceramic Petrography and Hopewell Interaction provides a clear and concise explanation of petrographic methods, Stoltman“ s findings about Hopewell and southeastern ceramics in various sites, and the fascinating discovery that visits to Hopewell centers by southeastern Native Americans were not only for trade purposes but more for such purposes as pilgrimages, vision- and power-questing, healing, and the acquisition of knowledge. © 2015 by the University of Alabama Press. All rights reserved.
The Florida Platform is delimited by the 200 m (600 ft) isobath at the shelf break to the approximate location of the Paleozoic suture beneath southern Georgia and Alabama (Fig. 2.1). The Suwannee-Wiggins Suture (Thomas et al. 1989) is the proposed location where terranes with African affinities are welded to the North American Plate (Chowns and Williams 1983; McBride and Nelson 1988; Woods et al. 1991). The basement rocks of the Florida Platform are a fragment of the African Plate that remained attached to the North American Plate when rifting occurred in the Jurassic and range in age from late Precambrian-early Cambrian to mid-Jurassic (Barnett 1975). Excellent reviews of the geology of the basement are provided by Smith (1982), Arthur (1988), Smith and Lord (1997), and Heatherington and Mueller (1997). Barnett (1975) provided a structure contour map of the sub-Zuni surface. This surface equates to what is now recognized as pre-Middle Jurassic. Barnett's interpretation of the basement surface has it occurring as shallow as approximately 915 m (3000 ft) below mean sea level (msl) in central-northern peninsular Florida. The basement surface dips west and southwest toward the Gulf of Mexico basin, to the south into the South Florida basin, and to the east into the Atlantic basin. The basement surface reaches depths of more than 5180 m (17,000 ft) below msl in southern Florida (Barnett 1975).