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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
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/20548923.2015.1133119

2016 The Author(s). Published by Taylor &


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Date: 11 April 2016, At: 08:15

Research Article

The ceramic ecology of orida: compositional


baselines for pottery provenance studies
Neill J. Wallis1* , Zackary I. Gilmore2, Ann S. Cordell1, Thomas J. Pluckhahn3,
Keith H. Ashley4, and Michael D. Glascock5
1

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

3
4

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

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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

Introduction
The importance of artifact provenance in archaeological research has never been greater. Archaeological
research programs are increasingly focused on movement, including movements constitutive of past interaction 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 biographies (e.g., Joyce and Gillespie 2015; Van Keuren
and Cameron 2015). Materials analysis that investigates geochemistry, mineralogy, and mineral
inclusions has proven integral to such efforts by furnishing 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 relationships. 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 geochemical 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 manufacturing, use, and post-depositional processes (e.g., leaching and diagenesis) (e.g. Buxeda i Garrigs 1999; Golitko
et al. 2012; Mommsen 2001; Picon 1986, 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; Hein et al. 2004; Neff 1998:125).
In Florida and southern Georgia, stylistic and typological attributes of aboriginal pottery indicate that
vessels may have been widely transported during
every cultural historical period in which they were produced (ca. 2000 BC to AD 1700). Nevertheless,

*Corresponding author. Email: nwallis@mnh.u.edu


2016 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/Licenses/by/4.0/),
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DOI: 10.1080/20548923.2015.1133119
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conrmation of the movement of pots through geochemical 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 chemical 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 identication 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 petrographic 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 provenance indicators are evaluated and the most appropriate spatial scale for sourcing vessels is presented.

The resulting data are considered in relation to successful 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

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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 suitable 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.

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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
histories.
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 Piedmont. The Coastal Plain is Georgias youngest geological 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 montmorillonite (a type of smectite) forming minor constituents
(Neiheisel and Weaver 1967; Peavear 1972). The kaolinite 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 moderately 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, evidence exists indicating substantial differences along
the length of individual Georgia rivers. In a geochemical mapping project of near-surface Georgia sediments, Cocker (1999) found that most measured

elements from samples along rivers are depleted in


direct proportion to their distance from the mountains, becoming especially low in the Coastal Plain.
This general pattern has been corroborated by a subsequent study of clays and pottery along the course
of the Altamaha/Ocmulgee drainage (Wallis 2011:101).
Whereas geological studies of near-surface sediments in Georgia suggest a number of largely predictable chemical and mineralogical trends, previous
research in Florida instead points to a more complex
patchwork of different sediment compositions. Floridas 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 interspersed with additional periods of substantial carbonate deposition, especially in southern Florida. Miocene
to Holocene sediments now blanket the entire platform, 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 lithological composition (Compton 1997; Hetrick et al. 1987;
Isphording 1971; Scott 1982, 1988). The upper layers
of the Hawthorn are particularly clayey, containing frequent beds of the Mg-rich clay minerals palygorskite
and montmorillonite (Scott 1982:133, 1988). Phosphates are virtually ubiquitous throughout the Hawthorn 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 Hawthorn is primarily a subsurface unit in Florida, but it outcrops 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 PlioPleistocene deposits in Florida. Secondary (i.e., sedimentary) 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

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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). Kaolinite deposits occur in east-central Florida in a 40-kmwide 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 possibilities 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 Piedmont, 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 terrestrial 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 tourmaline 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).

their extremely high frequency in pottery might also be


accounted for by added tempers of muck or sponges.
Some of these broadly dened tempering traditions 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 typically 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).
A similar lack of evidence pertains to clayey sediment 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 therefore have not been the focus of intensive archaeological investigation. Small stockpiles of humantransported unred clayey sediments have been documented 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

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 incorporated 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, encompassing 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 combinations 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,

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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 contemporary 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 widespread 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. Accordingly, our sampling efforts have been designed to
document the effective ceramic environment (Rice
1987:314315) of the study region in terms of the availability 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 variation 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).

Sampling
Clay samples derive from many disparate archaeological 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 Laboratory, 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 deposits 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 producedcollected 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 excessive aplastic inclusions. However, most of these aplastics 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.

Methods
NAA and multivariate statistical techniques for data
analysis and interpretation are described in detail elsewhere 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 University 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. SRM1633a 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 substituted with a value that minimized the Mahalanobis distance for the specimen from the group centroid
(Glascock 1992). Spatial interpolations of chemical concentrations were calculated using an inverse distance
weighted technique. For the purposes of spatial interpolations, 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 600C 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 relative 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 categories: 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

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occurrence of siliceous microfossils such as sponge spicules, 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.

Results
NAA results

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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.

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accessible for collection in southern Florida. The distribution 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

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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

Figure 3 Inverse distance weighted interpolation of clay sample principal component scores.

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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 (Ocmulgee River, n=4), R3 (Appalachicola valley, n=5), R4 (Tallahassee 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 overlapping 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 concentrations 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 variation. One group of eight samples from the western
panhandle that might logically form a compositional
region shows disparate elemental signatures that
cannot be resolved.

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terms of how far east the higher concentrations extend


and whether clays from north-central Florida or southwest 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). Interpolations of sample scores on the rst three Principal Components (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

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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NO

Region 1
(n=3)

Region 4
(n=4)

Region 5
(n=21)

Region 6
(n=2)

Region 7
(n=16)

mean s.d. mean s.d. mean s.d. mean s.d. mean s.d. mean s.d. mean
832 1308 1991 1541
4.66 5.00 11.93 1.48
0.67 0.97 0.90 0.51
0.34 0.41 0.51 0.42
10
9
20
3
0.38 0.33 0.74 0.05
72
51
134
26
50
48
90
16
220 305 297 209
2.17 1.85 3.84 1.27
10
13
16
6
45
50
173 187
3
1
3
1
37
52
53
21
72
0
79
18
252 160 384 138
0
0
0
0
2
3
5
2
316 385 402 154
46
26
67
22
112
73
151
66
34
22
61
25
7
5
12
5
1
1
2
1
1
1
2
1
4
4
9
4
3
3
5
2
0
0
1
0
9
6
13
5
1
1
2
0
10
7
19
2
3
2
6
1

1049
10.19
0.99
0.67
16
0.63
121
113
275
2.84
13
80
2
58
239
335
0
4
414
64
127
52
11
2
1
9
5
1
11
2
17
7

709
3.21
0.50
0.82
5
0.21
16
30
201
0.69
4
28
1
30
321
121
0
2
74
18
45
14
3
1
0
3
1
0
5
1
4
4

131
5.98
0.18
0.11
8
0.43
67
60
51
1.92
3
29
5
17
358
373
1
2
372
44
83
39
9
2
1
7
4
1
13
1
12
7

30
1.78
0.24
0.01
3
0.11
18
10
10
0.74
1
9
3
14
255
48
0
0
108
18
37
10
3
1
1
4
1
0
1
0
4
1

362
5.91
0.22
2.60
9
0.43
96
110
74
1.53
6
31
4
17
475
399
1
2
228
41
76
35
8
1
1
7
4
1
12
1
12
10

549
3.30
0.20
6.33
9
0.16
76
95
79
1.03
10
19
2
15
610
180
0
1
206
26
48
28
7
2
1
9
7
1
8
0
6
11

689
2.10
0.14
0.81
4
0.51
102
35
57
0.86
2
43
5
11
152
436
1
1
56
19
38
17
4
0
0
3
2
0
17
1
7
6

Region 8
(n=5)

Region 9
(n=5)

Region 10
(n=7)

s.d. mean s.d. mean s.d. mean

752 12253 7169


0.95 6.48 2.34
0.18 1.00 0.36
0.00 2.25 2.97
3
12
4
0.06 0.47 0.09
41
91
33
21
76
27
59
360 416
0.40 3.38 1.52
2
8
5
53
66
30
3
12
10
11
58
23
0
178 137
131 308 163
0
0
0
1
4
2
57
210
90
5
42
15
10
86
28
5
36
10
1
7
2
0
1
1
0
1
0
0
5
1
0
3
1
0
0
0
3
11
6
0
1
0
0
12
3
4
4
3

2958
3.49
0.48
1.08
7
0.25
74
97
147
1.95
3
45
8
31
137
263
1
2
60
32
46
25
6
1
1
7
3
0
10
1
9
2

2317
1.89
0.59
1.22
5
0.10
65
46
165
1.14
2
29
8
38
74
26
1
2
31
17
15
17
4
1
1
6
3
0
2
0
4
2

173
5.90
0.06
0.20
6
0.52
83
92
31
1.22
2
17
3
6
473
387
0
1
249
42
71
33
7
1
1
6
2
0
13
1
10
7

62
1.51
0.05
0.05
2
0.11
36
59
24
0.38
0
8
1
2
503
189
0
0
203
18
32
19
5
1
1
5
1
0
5
0
3
4

s.d.

Region 11
(n=7)
mean

s.d.

Region 12
(n=10)
mean

s.d.

Region 13
(n=4)

Region 14
(n=6)

mean s.d. mean s.d.

710
568 8759 16869 9618 12399 1450 461 1353
6.33 5.07 5.70 3.07 2.83 1.62 4.63 2.80 5.68
0.30 0.23 0.51 0.21 0.34 0.19 0.48 0.29 0.38
6.75 14.66 7.56 8.58 10.26 12.26 14.18 7.29 2.94
8
7
10
7
5
4
7
2
9
0.45 0.15 0.40 0.12 0.23 0.08 0.24 0.10 0.35
81
55
159
121
53
33
183 190
58
80
84
148
88
60
40
150 116
57
122
137
56
19
55
30
54
5
69
1.15 0.87 1.77 0.94 1.06 0.47 1.90 0.52 1.90
5
6
4
2
2
1
6
5
3
36
34
36
20
33
38
50
52
81
2
1
4
3
7
7
7
5
3
24
18
32
12
14
7
27
15
18
961 1097 570
679
961
949
585 427 284
235
118
322
95
223
128
483 449 212
0
0
1
0
1
1
2
1
0
3
2
3
1
1
1
3
2
1
157
112
154
29
117
85
393 407 148
31
23
38
17
28
21
30
19
24
61
46
68
32
52
38
64
39
51
27
20
33
15
37
37
37
23
21
5
4
8
4
6
5
10
8
5
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
0
1
4
3
5
2
5
4
4
2
3
2
2
3
1
2
2
2
1
2
0
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
0
7
3
9
4
5
1
3
1
7
1
1
1
0
0
0
1
0
1
8
6
10
5
6
6
6
2
8
9
8
12
10
13
16
63
71
5

1467
1.87
0.49
5.70
4
0.07
30
31
43
1.00
1
153
3
17
349
71
0
1
138
11
25
11
2
0
0
2
1
0
2
0
3
6

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THE CERAMIC ECOLOGY OF FLORIDA: COMPOSITIONAL BASELINES FOR POTTERY PROVENANCE STUDIES

2016

Na (ppm)
Al (%)
K (%)
Ca (%)
Sc (ppm)
Ti (%)
V (ppm)
Cr (ppm)
Mn (ppm)
Fe (%)
Co (ppm)
Zn (ppm)
As (ppm)
Rb (ppm)
Sr (ppm)
Zr (ppm)
Sb (ppm)
Cs (ppm)
Ba (ppm)
La (ppm)
Ce (ppm)
Nd (ppm)
Sm (ppm)
Eu (ppm)
Tb (ppm)
Dy (ppm)
Yb (ppm)
Lu (ppm)
Hf (ppm)
Ta (ppm)
Th (ppm)
U (ppm)

Region 3
(n=5)

Neill J. Wallis et al.

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Element

Region 2
(n=4)

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Table 1 Mean and standard deviation of element concentrations for each compositional region.

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STAR 20548923.2015.1133119

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
membership.

Figure 7). As Table 2 and Figure 7 show, there is tremendous 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,

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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

NO

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STAR 20548923.2015.1133119

Figure 7 Ternary diagrams for fabric groupings.

basis of abundance of particular mineral or rock constituents 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 characterized by quartz sand as the predominant constituent

(Figure 8a), with a paucity of siliceous microfossils,


mica, and other constituents. This category is heterogeneous in terms of quantity of sand and sand
texture (particle size) (Figure 7b) but fairly homogeneous in sand composition (Figure 7c).
Two categories are similar to Fabric SandB but
differ in the frequency of siliceous microfossils. Fabric

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STAR 20548923.2015.1133119

Figure 8 Photomicrographs of fabric groups: a) SandB; b) SandD; c) SandEb; d) SPC; e) calc; f) LMS; g) MICA; h)
Nodule.

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 composition 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 composition 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 homogeneous in terms of bulk composition, sand composition, 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 reaction to HCl (matrix character of the other fabrics
ranges from nearly opaque to very low birefringence).
This grouping is heterogeneous in terms of bulk

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composition and sand texture, but is relatively homogeneous 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 composition, 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 heterogeneous, as is bulk composition. Sand texture is fairly
homogeneous.
Despite apparent extreme variability in sand abundance in our sample, over 50 percent of samples
within each fabric group exhibit compositions well
within range of actual pottery samples (Table 2). In comparing 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 candidates for pottery making owing to excessive sandiness,
we speculate that over half of the samples whose compositional ranges occur outside those of the pottery
could be processed with minimal effort to increase or
decrease sand abundance. Sand texture or particle size

NO

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Table 2 Summary descriptions of fabric/resource groupings (petrographic data).


%matrix

%sand

sponge spicules

diatoms

mica

comments

50/27

none

none to rare

otherwise similar to matrix D

5/4

1-3%

none

none to rare

otherwise similar to matrix B

Eb

13/8

1-3%

occ to frq

none to rare

otherwise similar to matrix D

SPC

3/1

9-25%

none

none to rare

sandy St. Johns

calc

9/8

var

var

none to rare

calcareous matrix

LMS

5/5

none in most

none

none to rare in most

1 case with 1% spc and 3% mica

MICA

4/4

var

P in two cases

3-5%

NODULE

10/6

1-78%
47%
4-59%
36%
<1-60%
28%
11-26%
16%
0-57%
32%
12-58%
27%
14-41%
23%
4-67%
44%

none to rare

21-96%
50.5%
40-84%
58%
35-93%
65%
52-79%
63%
29-99%
61.5%
30-74%
59%
54-72%
66%
30-86%
51%

none to rare

none

none

otherwise similar to matrix B

% matrix
(pottery)a

% sand
(pottery)a

43-70%
57% (32)b
50-75%
62% (16)c
49-79.5%
62.5% (9)d
36-70%
53%(11)e
NA

26-55%
40%(32)b
21-47%
35.5%(16)c
19-47%
35% (9)d
16-40%
23%(11)e
NA

55-64%
60% (3)f
47-79.5%
62% (72)g
31-74%
58 (15)h

28-35%
32% (3)f
13-49%
32%(75)g
22-58%
36% (15)h

2016

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; processing 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.
c
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.
d
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; processing would be moderate to extensive for the other samples.
e
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.
f
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.
g
For %matrix and % sand, all four micaceous samples occur within range of micaceous pottery.
h
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.
a

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sample size (pet/ NAA)

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clay fabric groups

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THE CERAMIC ECOLOGY OF FLORIDA: COMPOSITIONAL BASELINES FOR POTTERY PROVENANCE STUDIES

STAR 20548923.2015.1133119

Figure 9 Ternary diagrams for all clay samples and pottery (n=157) from Wallis et al. (2014).

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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 calcareous 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 distribution correlates with the Hawthorn group outcropping of carbonates in southwest Florida. One

Figure 10 Distribution of fabric groups identied by petrographic analysis.

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THE CERAMIC ECOLOGY OF FLORIDA: COMPOSITIONAL BASELINES FOR POTTERY PROVENANCE STUDIES

calcareous sample from southwest Florida also contained nine percent spicules, just below the threshold
for membership in the SPC fabric. Micaceous clays with
high frequencies of mica occur exclusively in southeastern Georgia and the Florida panhandle, although
clays with occasional incidence of mica occur throughout the study area. Finally, the small sample of Fabric
LMS occurs only in deposits from southwest and northwest 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 panhandle, 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 calcareous clays and phosphatic nodules; (2) coastal northeast Florida/southeast Georgia, typied by a high
frequency of clays containing diatoms and ne textured sand particles; (3) and northwest Florida/southeast Georgia, with micaceous clays.

Discussion
Many of the fabric groupings identied by petrographic analysis show correlations with chemical composition 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, reecting their southwest Florida provenance. Micaceous
clays are, naturally, enriched in K and Rb but also
enriched in Na and Fe. Fabric SandEb, dened primarily 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 compositions are common and boundaries between compositional regions are ambiguous. These sources of
variation ultimately degrade the reliability of provenance studies conducted on too ne a scale or on
the margins of compositional regions. The shape and
scale of compositional regions and their often amorphous 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 important 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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STAR 20548923.2015.1133119

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.

can strengthen these inferences by screening clay


samples according to manufacturing viability and performance characteristics.

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 matches to pottery samples. In fact, the
range of variation among clays within identied compositional regions tends to exceed the variation of
earthenware vessels presumed to have been manufactured 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 chemical 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 consistently removing and adding constituents. The difference between pottery and clays may also result from
analysis of clays that are not suitable for vessel production, such as those that are too sandy or too calcareous. Future ceramic ecology projects in the study area

44

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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 contemporary 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
analysis.
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

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THE CERAMIC ECOLOGY OF FLORIDA: COMPOSITIONAL BASELINES FOR POTTERY PROVENANCE STUDIES

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 concentrations 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 consistent 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 concentrations 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 Charlotte 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 corroborate 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 coastline 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 freshwater 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 manufactured from raw materials collected locally in northeast 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 contemporary places. This provides substantial empirical
credibility to the argument that at least some Late
Archaic monuments were the sites of large-scale gatherings 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 concentrations 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 phytoliths 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 morphology, 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 Altamahamade vessels comprised 23 percent of the burial
mound sample. All but two were Swift Creek Complicated 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 Mississippian 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 Cordmarked samples from northeast Florida (Region 7),
making up 24 percent of the assemblages from that
region, were identied as originating from the Ocmulgee/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 distance 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, morphologically, and on a microscopic (45X) level, leading
Ashley et al. (2015) to argue that their presence reects
extensive exchange and perhaps direct visits and intermarriage 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 expectations of the clay analysis presented in this paper
with one major exception. Pottery from sites in southwest Georgia, rather than being depleted in K as predicted by the clay analysis, is almost uniformly
enriched. This difference indicates that the three
clayey sediment samples analyzed so far are not representative of the available ceramic resources in the
region.
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 challenging, 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 manufacturing toolspaddle matchesthat span these
regions conrms the transport of vessels up to 300
km. These data denote a high frequency in the transport of vessels from the largest civic-ceremonial
centers, located in compositional regions 1 and 4, to
small burial mounds on the Gulf coast.

and U. Mineral inclusions with spatial patterning


include mica (muscovite), calcareous matrix, phosphatic nodules, and diatoms. Variability in bulk chemistry
and mineral inclusions among clayey samples even
within compositional and the inferred paste processing traditions of ancient potters result in very few
undeniable matches between 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 provenance can be reliably identied is minimally hundreds 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 longitudinal transport of vessels, such as between the
coasts and interior parts of the study area will be analytically recognizable at a smaller scale than most latitudinal movements such as along the interior of the
Florida peninsula.

ORCID
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
10.1080/20548923.2015.1133119.

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