Year of Publication

2013

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Dr. George Crothers

Abstract

Ceramic material culture recovered from archaeological sites has more to offer the researcher than placing the site or strata into a cultural historic timeline. By examining the characteristics of ceramics manufactured during the Woodland Period in southern Kentucky, this thesis answers questions related to the behavior of the potters who lived and worked there. Using the theoretical basis of ceramic ecology and technological choice, this thesis examines the choices made by the potters of two sites, the Long (15Ru17) and Rowena (15Ru10) sites, located along the Cumberland River in Russell County, Kentucky. The two sites are also compared to one another and similar assemblages in the Upper Cumberland River Valley, in terms of temporal occupation and utilization of tempering resources. Ultimately, the potters who occupied the Long and Rowena sites during the Woodland Period used locally available materials to temper their clay, even as they emulated other ceramic types. In terms of the two sites themselves, it appears that while they were not occupied by the same population of potters, they did employ similar tempering agents and stylistic types. Examining the behavior of potters who occupied these two sites informs the researcher about the behavior of the larger region of the Upper Cumberland Valley.

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