Ann S. Cordell's research while affiliated with Florida Museum of Natural History and other places

Publications (12)

Article
The lowland Maya city of Nixtun-Ch'ich' (Petén, Guatemala) exhibits an atypical gridded layout featuring quadrilateral blocks of architectural construction, established in the Middle Preclassic period (~ 800–500 BCE). Early levels of some excavated structures revealed unusual dark-colored, sticky sediments used as architectural footings overlying l...
Article
We describe the curation and use of clay samples as part of the ceramic ecology program at the Florida Museum of Natural History's Ceramic Technology Laboratory (FLMNH-CTL). We outline the history of the comparative clay sample collection at the FLMNH-CTL and detail the standard operating procedure by which samples are processed, analyzed, and cura...
Article
Weeden Island mortuary ceremonialism united distinct cultures across the Late Woodland social landscape. The Weeden Island pottery series is central to recognizing regional ceremonial parity, with prestige (elite) and sacred (cult) wares showing strong similarities among distant sites. Finely made vessels and their ostensibly shamanistic themes led...
Article
Full-text available
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 s...
Article
Full-text available
The River Styx site was an important Middle Woodland ceremonial center in north-central Florida that included a horseshoe-shaped earthen embankment, a burial mound containing only cremations, and diverse nonlocal artifacts. The site was recorded more than forty years ago but a report was never written. This article presents a summary of excavation...
Article
A case study is presented to test the notion that minority pottery types from 16th century contexts at the Fountain of Youth (FOY) site in St. Augustine reflect population movements from the north that preceded major political reorganizations in the region. Petrographic methods are employed to trace the manufacturing origins of early historic perio...
Article
Full-text available
Although this volume covers a broad range of temporal and methodological topics, the chapters are unified by a geographic focus on the archaeology of the Georgia Bight. The various research projects span multiple time periods (including Archaic, Woodland, Mississippian, and contact periods) and many incorporate specialized analyses (such as petrogr...
Article
We report the results of a petrographic analysis of pottery from Kolomoki, a Middle and Late Woodland period mound and village complex in southwestern Georgia. Thin sections of 65 sherds representing several prestige and utilitarian Weeden Island pottery types, from both domestic (midden) and ceremonial (mound) contexts, were obtained. For comparis...
Article
Digital Imaging Analysis has been proposed as an efficient alternative to traditional petrography for some applications. This paper tests that proposition in the measurement of temper size and abundance in four pottery thin sections from the Pevey Site, Mississippi. The findings of both studies are presented here and the relative merits of the two...

Citations

... Excavations into a platform (Structure W1), midway between Fosa V and Fosa Y, struck the aquifer during the rainy season of 2016 (Figure 7). The aquifer had been sealed by a 25 cm-thick layer of heavy, gray clay, its base at the same elevation as the water level in Fosa V. Similar clay was used elsewhere at Nixtun-Ch'ich' and other Maya sites as architectural mortar, footing, and coating (Rice et al., 2018;Pugh, 2021). In the base of Structure W1, the material appears to have been used as a sealant to contain groundwater. ...
... For this purpose, sedimentological, mineralogical and geochemical studies were performed on samples from outcrops of the geological formations from which the raw materials were exploited (Trindade et al. 2010a(Trindade et al. , b, 2013Daoudi et al. 2018;Xanthopoulos et al. 2020). That was followed by a study of ceramics found on the two production sites (Aveiro and Barreiro), first of all seeking to identify technological changes in their production and the second to confirm the origin and eventual differences in use (Prudêncio and Dias 2014;Rocha and Morgado 2014;Christidis et al. 2014;Montana 2020;Hein and Kilikoglou 2020;Cordell et al. 2017;Weiner et al. 2020). ...
... Although Weeden Island pottery has yet to be approached at the same scale or intensity as our study of Swift Creek ceramics, NAA and petrographic studies, as well as stylistic comparisons, suggest, it may have been produced largely by specialists who resided in the panhandle and adjacent interior regions of the northern Gulf Coast (Pluckhahn and Cordell 2011; Sorresso and Wallis et al. 2017). As Wallis (2013b:218) suggests, it may reflect a heightened concern with ownership, not only of the vessels themselves but also of the knowledge or rights that were required to produce and use them properly. ...
... 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. ...
... The late reoccupations of these peninsular villages are all marked by the first appearance of larger and more diverse assemblages of Weeden Island pottery, perhaps indicating a reverse transfer of people, ideas, and materials. Ceramic provenance studies support this inference; neutron activation analysis and petrography indicate that much of the elaborate incised, punctated, and red-filmed pottery found at sites on the Florida peninsula was manufactured from clays found in the area of Kolomoki and the Tallahassee Hills physiographic region (Pluckhahn and Cordell 2011;Wallis et al. 2017). Burmeister (2000, p. 549) suggests that phases of migration are often accompanied by return migrations, with returning emigrants bringing new information and actively participating in the transformation of society in the emigration area. ...
... A circular area of low elevation separates the burial mound from adjacent higher areas; this suggests the burial mound may have surrounded by a purposefully constructed ditch and enclosure. Earthwork complexes with enclosed burial mounds have been identified at a number of sites on the Florida peninsula, with many dating to the same time period as Cockroach Key [Jackson et al. 2019;Pluckhahn and Thompson 2018;Wallis et al. 2014]. ...
... Phytoliths are released once the plant producing them is destroyed through decay, burning, digestion, or grinding (Ball et al. 1999(Ball et al. :1615Shahack-Gross et al. 2014;Wallis et al. 2014). These microfossils can then be found in several different contexts: soil, coprolites, dental calculus, stomach contents, residue on artifacts, and lake cores (Berlin et al. 2003:115;Piperno 2006:81-86). ...
... Sporadic occurrences of grog are recorded in ceramic technologies from the Neolithic period to modern times, for example, in various parts of Europe, the British Isles, the Americas, the Caribbean, the African continent, the Near East and Oceania (i.a. Babetto et al. 2021;Cau Ontiveros et al. 2019;Lyne 2015;Thompson 1982;Borgers et al. 2020;Maggetti et al. 2011;Owen et al. 2011;Wallis et al. 2011;Ting et al. 2018;Di Prado et al. 2020: Heath-Stout 2019Heydarian et al. 2020;Cantina and Mayor 2018;Fitzpatrick et al. 2003;Dickinson and Shutler 2000). In archaeological ceramics, grog-temper appears in a wide variety of ceramic forms: from delicate bowls to large containers as well as water-pipes, bricks and tiles (Cuomo di Caprio and Vaugnan 1993). ...
... In ancient ceramics' studies, DIA is often used to process images obtained by classical approaches like optical microscopy (OM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM-EDS). Literature offers several examples of successful applications of DIA on polarized images [25,3,27] and on backscattering images and elemental maps [3,4,27] to implement petrographic description and grain size distribution analysis. The coupling of well-established methods based on images acquisition and DIA brought obvious advantages, especially in quantitative analysis, together with some limitations, due to the technique itself or to the difficulties in automatizing non-trivial analysis procedures [25,27]. ...