Title page for ETD etd-04192012-160232

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Wrenn, Margaret Kathryn
URN etd-04192012-160232
Title Designing Pots: Determining Orange Incised Design Variation and Distribution at the Rollins Shell Ring Site and the Guana Shell Ring Site in Florida
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Geography & Anthropology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Saunders, Rebecca Committee Chair
Chicoine, David Committee Member
McKillop, Heather Committee Member
  • North American Archaeology
  • Archaic Prehistory
Date of Defense 2011-12-09
Availability unrestricted
Orange pottery is a Late Archaic (5000-3000 B.P.) fiber-tempered pottery found throughout northern and central Florida, though the heartland of the ware is considered to be in the northeastern part of Florida. Orange pottery is most commonly plain, but incised Orange pottery is frequently found at shell ring sites on the eastern Florida coast. Prior examinations of Orange Incised pottery have indicated design considerable homogeneity in design at Orange Period sites. The highest percentage of decorated pottery is found at shell ring sites.

For this thesis, I conducted an analysis and comparison of Orange Incised pottery collections from two contemporaneous shell ring sites, Rollins Shell Ring (8DU7510) and Guana Shell Ring (8SJ2554) in order to determine if pots produced by the same potter were present at both sites. Detailed measurements of the sherds were recorded for most incised sherds from both sites and every discrete design was recorded. The distribution of design motifs and incising attributes were compared between sites. Sherds from both sites had similar design motifs and very similar technical and stylistic measurements, suggesting that there was cultural exchange between the Rollins Shell Ring (8DU7510) and the Guana Shell Ring (8SJ2554). However, no evidence was found to support the idea that a single potter or group of potters produced vessels for both sites. Elaborate decorations, finishing techniques, lack of sooting, and other elements also suggest that vessels at shell ring sites were used for serving rather than cooking. This finding supports the hypothesis that shell rings were used for public feasting and ceremonial events during the Late Archaic.

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