Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Accokeek Creek

The Aboriginal ceramic type of the day is Accokeek Creek. This is a considerably earlier ware than both Mockley and Moyaone, dating to 900BC-300BC in the Early Woodland Period. During this time people were experimenting with different types of tempers and methods for producing pottery. It was during this period that coil-construction was first used, which means that wares were created by stacking rolled coils of clay on top of one another. These coils were then smoothed together, and a paddle was then used to shape and decorate the vessel.

Defining attributes of Accokeek Creek wares include a fine to coarse temper of sand or crushed quartz with a rough and sandy texture. There are, however, some variations of these characteristics with some wares having mica or gneiss in their tempers as well. The above image is of two similar sand-tempered sherds of Accokeek. The sherd on the bottom was found in Stratum 3 of Unit 60 and the sherd on the top was from Stratum 4 of Unit 54. Both units were in the Compton Field.

Accokeek is generally reddish in color due to the presence of ferrous material in the clay. The outer surfaces of the vessel were typically cord-marked, creating a rough striated surface as seen in the image. These markings are known as oblique cord-markings as they generally extend diagonally from the rim to the base. In some sherds additional cord-marked or incised decoration is present though undecorated sherds have also been found. Take a look at the Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum website for some examples of these variations.Vessels were generally medium to large in size and conical or globular in shape, as shown in the image to the right.

As usual, please click on the image for a much better close-up.


No comments: